Wrangles and rows - why the Forum’s chairman and vice-chair resigned

The sudden resignation of both chairman and vice-chairman has left Bexhill Town Forum currently without leadership.

The announcement of their departure was made prior to the forum last Tuesday at St Peter’s Community Centre.

Paul Plim told the Observer he did not elaborate on why he resigned as chairman to the meeting because it was clear members “were not interested in the squabbles of the executive committee.”

However though he hinted at conflict he claimed: “The last thing the people of Bexhill need is an unruly forum executive.”

He added: “If it wasn’t for the underhanded Machiavellian way that a certain individual conducted themselves, I would not have resigned. That, and the virtual character assassination inflicted on the vice-chair by another committee member was just too much to take.”

Vice-chairman Nick Hollington believed he and the former chairman “worked well together,” commenting that “wrangling within the committee had gone on for some time, and I agree with Paul, largely came down simply to two recalcitrant individuals, (with collusion from others who should have known better), who time after time would not accept decisions legitimately made at committee meetings if they were not to their liking, but would rather continually conspire afterwards to change them. They seemed to enjoy in-fighting and ‘playing politics’ - as if this was the ‘House of Cards’ or something.

“Paul Plim and I simply wanted to get on with our jobs and take the Forum forward. We tried to get members to agree a Code of Conduct to try to get a better working relationship within the Committee but this was blocked.

“At a certain point, if one is volunteering in local ‘public life’ and things become stressful, especially where one is the butt of criticism or, worse still, abusive comments , one asks oneself questions such as ‘what am I doing here?’ and ‘do I really need this?’ My answers to those questions became over time ‘I don’t know anymore’ and then ‘definitely not’. I belong to enough associations where people behave professionally and I am made to feel of value.

“I sincerely hope the Town Forum gets a good new Chair and Vice Chair but can’t help feeling things will not change radically until it gets a new, or at least a stronger Committee.”