Andrew Hamilton resignation given mixed reaction

THE DECISION by a Conservative town councillor to quit because of a hike in council tax has led to mixed reactions from residents.

The majority of people who have got in contact with the Gazette have praised Andrew Hamilton for his actions, while one resident said he was wrong to resign.

Mr Hamilton made the decision to step down because he did not support the rise of nearly 10 per cent in the town council portion of residents’ council tax.

The Lindfield Avenue resident said he had campaigned in last year’s May local elections promising that the precept would not rise this year.

Since then, people have got in touch with their views.

Mary Clarke, of Marine Crescent, said, “How hard it must be for a councillor to vacate his position, which he fought to be elected for, having the interests of the town he represents at the fore of his mind.

“I believe Councillor Hamilton should be congratulated for his sense of purpose, the strength of his feelings, and his bravery for deciding he could not go along with the council’s decision.”

She also commented on £10,000 of the precept going towards the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations, saying, “Not all Seaford citizens are dyed-in-the-wool Royalists, and even those who are, must question why we are expected to contribute to the Jubilee Celebrations, which have led to this rise.”

Lee Bennett said he had emailed Mr Hamilton with his full support.

He added, “We live in a so-called democracy, but as a republican I find myself forced to pay for a party, supporting a bunch of people which the cause I support are seeking to remove.

“I have no issues about folks having parties, providing it’s self-funding with the sale of tickets.”

Former town councillor Rejane Amery added, “There is no doubt whatsoever that Mr Hamilton was right to resign.

“His party (the Conservatives) had, during the local elections, made clear their determination to hold down council tax as indeed was advocated by the Conservative coalition in government.”

But James Cannon, of Broad Street, disagreed saying, “I believe that Councillor Hamilton was wrong to resign because his resignation is certain to incur the Seaford Taxpayer a cost of nearly £5,000 for an unnecessary By-election.

“Cllr Hamilton should have voted against the tax hike; because Seaford Town Council has excessively increased the level of the town’s precept well beyond the level of inflation and the cost of living.”