Posted: 28.04.20 at 15:43 by Hannah Corfield
Yesterday evening (April 27), Honiton residents were saddened by the announcement that Duncan Sheridan-Shaw was resigning from his elected position on the town council.
In an emotional letter, Duncan stated that the ‘swathe of negativity and harassment faced’ was too much 'for any decent human soul to deal with' and that he ‘could not continue’ under the restraints of the current leadership.
He added reassurance that he still 'believed wholeheartedly' that great things are possible in a 'loving and accepting community' and that he would continue his involvement within the community as a citizen.
Nub News contacted members of Honiton Town Council for their response on his decision to stand down.
Town Mayor, John Zarczynski commented: “I’m very disappointed. Very disappointed. But I am not at all surprised.
“All I will say is this; I thank him and wish him well for the future.”
Deputy Town Clerk, Heloise Marlow said: “I wish you all the best in your future endeavours and hope that we can again work together at some point in the future.”
Former Town Mayor, Henry Brown also got in touch: ”Duncan can be proud of his service to our community.
“He worked hard to promote local organisations as is evidenced by a short conversation with people in the town.
“I'm confident that in time, when the council is renewed, he will return and make Mayor."
Cllr Tony McCollum added: “It’s a sad day for Honiton, as they have lost a great ambassador for the town.
“Honiton Chamber of Commerce would like to him to stay on within his capacity as Tesco Community Manager.
"He is also involved as a trustee for The Random Kitchen, when it becomes a registered charity.
“We won’t lose him completely, however it is sad to see him leave the council.”
Cllr Caroline Kolek commented: “The resignation of our deputy mayor sadly came as no surprise.
“This council continues to be bogged down with fighting people rather than being proactive in supporting the community.
“There are some councillors who continually want to look back and make allegations, frame past actions, votes or correspondence as spurious or circumstantial evidence to portray others in a poor light.
“I still believe the best thing for this town is for the whole council to resign and face a full democratic election.
“In the meantime I wish Duncan well. He will make an excellent mayor, which will happen one day I am sure.”
Cllr Michelle Pollington responded directly to Duncan’s letter: “I am greatly saddened by your decision, but I cannot say I am surprised.
“You are a fantastic ambassador for the town, and I hope to have the opportunity to work with you on town projects in the future.
“Thank you for the hard work that you have put in as a Councillor and as Deputy Mayor.
“The Town Council have lost a valuable member.
“Thank you, also, for the hard work that you are putting in during this crisis for the people of the town.”
Cllr Jason Hannay expressed his regret: “I really feel for Duncan, he is by far one of the treasures of this town.
“‘Duty first and self second’, something he says time and time again.
“He really has lived up to this!
“I completely understand and it does come as no surprise that he has felt the need to resign.
“A constant barrage of private messages to him, open emails with continuous finger pointing by councillors too.
“It is unfortunate that once again this town is going to see history repeat itself.
“It is sad that another great councillor feels they have to resign.
“Understandably so and no surprise to most, but the worst thing is this town has lost an amazing individual who would have been great for our community, and an outstanding mayor fit for purpose to serve this great town!”