A rural Herefordshire parish councillor has resigned, claiming that his fellow councillors are merely serving their own interests.

“For a long time, I have been dismayed by the way (Llangarron Parish Council) operates,” Paul Lodge wrote in his letter of resignation to the council clerk.

“It is dominated by a large group of councillors from the wider Llangarron village community who are friends and have the majority vote on all council decisions.”

He also claimed that parish council chairman Sylvia Matthews “acts at times as if she is running her own private business rather than acting as a balanced non-partisan chairperson”.

Mr Lodge said that he had originally joined the parish council nearly five years ago “to try to stem the extensive flow of new housing coming into Llangrove village”.

Under the new neighbourhood development plan (NDP) being developed for the area, “the distribution of housing was very unfair”, he wrote.

Coun Lodge walked out of an online parish council meeting last July, saying it was behaving “like a one-party state” over the NDP issue.

“I have tried to be balanced and representative in expressing opposing views in meetings which speak for many in our community whose opinions need to be heard,” Mr Lodge said in his letter.

“However, this has rarely been demonstrated by my fellow councillors or been evident in council meetings.”

Llangarron Parish Council was approached for comment.

Local resident Angela Farr posted on the Herefordshire Politics and Local Democracy Facebook group that Mr Lodge “has been the most proactive councillor, always listening to the community and always taking up the cause for all those in need”.


Meanwhile, a referendum in the south Herefordshire parish last week strongly backed the NDP, drawing 391 votes (88 per cent) for it and 51 against, on a turnout of 48 per cent.

The NDP shows there have been 31 new houses completed in the parish since 2011, and a further 65 housebuilding “commitments” – yielding a figure of 32 houses above the minimum housing target set out in the county-wide Core Strategy up to 2031.

“Llangarron Parish has already met its minimum housing target and there is no need for further site allocations in the NDP,” it concludes, and adds: “Any further development in Llangrove should be of a small scale and limited to within the village settlement boundary.”