Soham town councillor resigns

Geoffrey Woollard

Geoffrey Woollard - Credit: Archant

A Soham Town councillor has resigned his seat saying the fact he is almost 80 made him come to the final decision.

Geoffrey Woollard, 79, has sat on the planning committee for the last two years.

A by-election will be called to find a new councillor for the Soham South ward.

He said: “I was first elected to Soham Town Council two years ago. I was then 77.

“I am now 79 and, though my ageing hadn’t seriously concerned me, I have been reminded recently that my next birthday will be the big ‘Eight O’.

“I have asked myself two things. First, do I really want to spend two more years attending council meetings on a regular basis when there are lots of other pleasing things to do.

“Secondly, can I really be of further service to Soham by staying on the council?

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“The answer in my own mind was ‘no’ so I resigned my membership of the council at the end of this evening’s meeting.”

Mr Woollard resigned after a meeting of the full council on Monday (10) in which the latest minutes of the last planning committee were signed off.

During that meeting an application for a new estate was discussed for 160 family homes, eight self build plots, two parks and a dog walking route on 6.79 hectares of farm land south of Blackberry Lane.

Town councillor Geoffrey Woollard, said at the time: “I’m very concerned at the speed and extent of Soham’s expansion.

“East Cambridgeshire District Councillors - who are supposed to represent us - don’t seem to be in tune with the views of the residents.”

Those listed on the website as the landowners/tenants of the plot are C.Palmer, Soham; DJ Palmer Soham; B Ashton, Ely; Bishop Laney’s Charity, Ely.

Soham planning committee said a traffic survey did not look at the town as a whole and no consideration had been given for traffic flow and levels to the new Southern Bypass, it assumed “wrongly the number of cars for each dwelling will be low.” and “the traffic and environment report contained several inaccuracies.”