Tory town councillor Martin Houlden announced his surprise resignation last night because he has moved his family – and his computer technology business – out of Marlborough to a new location in Dorset.
Mr Houlden, who stood as an independent conservative against Claire Perry in last year’s general election, subsequently became a member of Marlborough town council in a by-election last August.
In his election leaflet for Marlborough West Ward he declared: “I think my local knowledge and business experience would be a useful addition to the town council.”
“Proud of our town, I want to ensure it continues to be a nice place to live, with its rich history and unique character.”
But he told colleagues at the end of last night’s Planning Committee meeting that family problems to do with housing and his children’s education has resulted in him moving out of Marlborough – and Wiltshire too.
“I had hoped to be able to continue serving on the council, but as I no longer have an office here, and consequently am not in the town five days a week like before, I feel that I cannot continue to represent the people of the town to the level that they deserve,” he said in a statement.
“And so it is with regret that tomorrow I shall be resigning from the town council and will inform Wiltshire Council at the same time.”
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the council staff and, of course, council colleagues. The last year has certainly been an experience. Please let me wish all of you the very best for the future.”
Mr Houlden, 38, married with two children, had this year proposed a computer-controlled programme to solve parking problems. He had also been criticised for his views concerning traveller sites in the area.
The mayor, Councillor Alexander Kirk-Wilson, told him: “I would like to thank you ever so much for bringing a young spirit into the town. We will seriously miss your absence.”