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Ledbury Town councillor resigns following traumatic year
4:42pm Monday 23rd April 2012 in Ledbury
A LEDBURY Town councillor has resigned following a traumatic year.
Maurice Harding has decided to take a break after his wife Hazel suffered severe ill health and his grandson Tom Harding, a Police office for the Metropolitan Police, was knifed in the head and the intestines while on duty.
PC Harding has since been awarded the Metropolitan Police Service Commissioner's Total Policy Award for Outstanding Bravery for his role in tackling a man who "went bezerk" with a 12 inch knife in a butcher's shop last November.
"It was touch and go," said Maurice.
"We first heard the news on the television and didn't put two and two together."
The attacker tried to stab PC Harding twice in the chest, but the officer was wearing a protective jacket and the blade did not penetrate.
But the assailant then stabbed him and in the head and stomach.
Mr Harding, who was a police officer himself for 30 years, saw Tom last month after he underwent a final operation.
He said he was disappointed to leave the council after five years, but said "family comes first".
Meanwhile, former Ledbury Mayor Mary Cooper has also stepped down from the Town Council due to divisions and animosity in the town.
She has voiced concerns over the state of the community during a time when opinions are divided on the future of the town, particularly regarding the Sainsbury’s and Tesco superstore planning applications.
“I regret what is happening to Ledbury at the moment, with the animosity that seems to have been generated,” she said.
“And I will say that the town council is not quite as happy as when I first joined it.” But Mrs Cooper stressed she had not stood down following recent calls from some local activists for the whole town council to resign, so a new one could be elected.
She added there could have been a full election last May if enough people had stood and said the call for mass resignation was “unfair”.
“I hope the town council do get some people on board who are prepared to serve the town and put it first," she said.
Mrs Cooper, who was mayor from 2005-06, will continue to serve the community as a director of the civic society, a trustee of the Elizabeth Barrett Browning Institute and as a member of the Town Plan steering group.
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