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Terry Clements announces resignation from West Suffolk Council after more than 38 years

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A councillor of more than 38 years announced his resignation in a passionate speech at a West Suffolk Council meeting last week.

Terry Clements, who represented the Horringer ward for the district council, cited issues such as a lack of discussion about civic mayoralty and his feeling that little protection was given to the felling of mature trees.

During his statement at the September 28 meeting, he apologised to his residents and explained he had really tried for them but felt he could not make a difference any more.

Terry Clements was Mayor of St Edmundsbury in 2017. Picture by Mecha Morton.
Terry Clements was Mayor of St Edmundsbury in 2017. Picture by Mecha Morton.

Explaining his speech, he said: “I was just getting worn down, I have always been enthusiastic and about getting things done. I was not able to do that and it got to a point where I felt that even if I suggested something it would be voted the other way.

"I intended to do 40 years as I am committed to helping people and to council work, which has been my life, but I was given some good advice recently - when they stop listening stop talking, so that is what I am doing now.”

Terry said the lack of recognition for his work on the Vision 2031 local plan, which he described as 'devastating' for him, was one of the main reasons for his decision to leave.

His highlights as a councillor included being the first chairman of the board of Suffolk Sport and helping to secure £40,000 to set up the West Suffolk College football academy.

He was also a board member for Abbeycroft Leisure and an honorary president of Havebury Housing Partnership.

Terry said: “It is not a bad legacy, but I just find it disappointing to be so ostracised and I just could not be humiliated any more."

Terry, who also served as a Suffolk County Councillor between 2005 and 2017 and was Mayor of St Edmundsbury in 2017, also thanked the parish councils he represented.

He said though they did not agree on some matters in the past, he felt he had covered some of the best communities in the area.

Cllr Carol Bull, West Suffolk Council’s Conservative group chairperson, said of the decision: “My overwhelming feeling is sadness. He has been a councillor for a long, long time and has contributed a huge amount over the years.

“He has a wealth of knowledge and incredibly passionate about things and representing his residents – it is just very sad.”

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