MORE resignations have been confirmed at the troubled Ledbury Town Council, including the mayor, Cllr Elaine Fieldhouse.

And now, in a week when a new town mayor is set be elected to a badly divided and diminished town council, demands are growing for the remaining councillors to all stand down and for fresh elections to take place.

Some residents are even calling for the council to be scrapped.

Posting on the Ledbury Reporter Facebook site, resident Martin Dudley said: "The best and likely most welcome news would be that the whole and entire council stand down and 18 entirely new faces be elected - those who remain will continue to have tarnished names or reputations; this town deserves a fresh approach.

"A new broom sweeps clean."

Josh Worrell, posting on the Voice of Ledbury Facebook site said: "Get rid and rebuild."

Ann Beard said: " Perhaps it is now time for all councillors to resign and for Ledbury to start again.

"The problem is they have all been tarred with the same brush; it is a shame but I don't think there is any confidence left."

And some residents are now asking if the town needs a town council at all.

Chris Wall said: "The whole system seems to be outdated and very expensive to run, with as far as I can see nothing more than an advisory role which more often than not gets overruled by Herefordshire County Council.

"It's time for a change - perhaps local councils have naturally run their course."

Divisions grew in Ledbury Town Council when Cllr Liz Harvey and Cllr Andrew Harrison were accused of bullying staff and were sanctioned from speaking or voting at committee meetings.

Both Cllrs Harvey and Harrison strongly denied the accusations.

Town council procedures that found Cllr Harvey and Cllr Andrew Harrison guilty of bullying staff were under employment law; but a separate Code of Conduct investigation, by Herefordshire Council, found that neither Cllrs Harvey nor Harrison had been in breach of the Code, which covers how councillors must treat others.

Now, following a judicial review brought by Cllr Harvey against the town council, a judge has ruled that the actions of the town council in this matter were beyond its powers.

Councillor Harvey had been given no proper opportunity to respond to the accusations and the decision was "substantively unfair".

The divisions on the town council have led to a run of resignations.

A temporary clerk brought in after the longstanding clerk, Karen Mitchell, resigned, "has finished her time with the council" according to deputy mayor and veteran town councillor, Keith Francis.

He said: "The mayor has resigned. The temporary clerk has finished her time with the council and the deputy clerk has resigned."

The Reporter understands that the deputy clerk had only been in the position for a short while, as had the temporary clerk.

Including the temporary clerk, the latest resignations mean that six members of staff have now left Ledbury Town Council in recent times.

The resignation of Cllr Elaine Fieldhouse means that five town councillors have resigned in recent months.

This means that, at best, only 13 councillors out of a possible 18 are now available take part in the annual mayor making, to elect a new town mayor.

Elections to fill four of the vacancies will take place next month.

But the mayor making was scheduled to take place last night XXThursday (May 24)XX in the Community Hall, at 7.30pm, during the town council's annual meeting.

Only six councillors are required to be in attendance for a legal Ledbury Town Council meeting to take place.

Clr Francis said in advance of the mayor making meeting: "The new chairman of the council will be elected. I shall open the meeting and the new chairman will take over the meeting as soon as elected.

"The first item on the agenda has to be ‘Election of Chairman’."

It is not known, as the Reporter went to press, who will stand.