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Sherborne councillor sacrifices role to help veterans

By Western Gazette - Sherborne  |  Posted: January 26, 2013

Sherborne Town Councillor Tony Chambers

Sherborne Town Councillor Tony Chambers

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A SHERBORNE town councillor has stepped down to focus on representing ex-servicemen in the town.

Tony Chambers, of Sherborne west ward, announced his resignation in a letter to Sherborne Town Council on Monday.

Mr Chambers, a former member of the Armed Forces, said he wanted to focus on his new role as vice president for the Sherborne branch of the Royal British Legion.

He said: “As an ex-serviceman I wanted to concentrate on something closer to my heart.

“I think of people such as one of our Sherborne troops, Jason Gould, who has been injured in action, and I want to focus on what I can do to help them.

“This is the only reason I have given up my position on the council.

“I really enjoyed my time there. But now it is something I could not continue with this new role and a full-time job.”

Mr Chambers was co-opted on to the council in October 2011 after claiming the biggest issues in the west ward were the burial ground and dog mess.

Born in Derby in 1963, Mr Chambers joined Yeovilton in 1980 and served 23 years in the Fleet Air Arm. He moved to Sherborne in 1984.

He joined the Army in 2003 and served for five years, including time in the Falklands.

Sherborne Town Council now has the chance to co-opt a new member or, if residents call for one, have an election.

Public notices will appear in the town stating an election will take place if ten residents of the west ward ask for one by a set date. If this does not happen the council will pursue a co-option, where the position is advertised and the candidate is appointed after a selection process.

Robin Legg, a former Sherborne town councillor and twice mayor, said there were pitfalls with co-option.

He said: “There have been a growing number of co-option appointments in the past few years.

“The council is growing out of touch with the people it serves.

“But if you want to serve on the local authority you need to make an effort, and people aren’t willing to stand for an election.

“Others may be co-opted in for a short time and then decide it is not to their liking.”

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