“HONITON Town Council elected a new mayor this evening in Cllr Ashley Delasalle, who stunned the chamber by immediately quitting the role – and the council – with a sensational statement.
Cllr Delasalle, who had served Honiton Town Council since 2015, said the council was “broken” and “limping from one crisis to the next”. She also said it is “diseased with negative energy” and “personal battles of ego”.
Cllr Delasalle’s statement read: “Firstly and most importantly I would like to thank those of you [that] have supported me over the past few weeks. If this process has taught me anything is that I have great friends. “I would also like to thank my family, especially my husband for his inspiration and for teaching me I can make a positive difference to people’s lives.
“35 years ago my teacher told me to steer clear of my husband because he was trouble. I now live with a man who receives invitations from the Prime Minister to dine at Number 10 and who proposed to me at the High Sheriff of Devon’s private garden party. “Clearly some teachers are poor judges of character.”
“I have said that I will endeavour to secure funds to reinstate the Gissage Bridge and the toll gates. I have many ideas and I will pursue those aims. I will also fund raise to provide the de-fibrilators (sic) for the town that the council failed to provide last year.
Pre-occupied with the past
“This will be difficult to achieve as we have been so pre-occupied with the past that we have failed to set a proper budget for the coming year.
“This Council exists to serve the people of the town, it does not exist to boost our ego’s (sic) or fulfil our personal ambitions. “Sadly we do not all hold that opinion.
Harassment and bullying
“In the past 4 months it is my view that I have witnessed the harassment, bullying and intimidation of our fellow councillors and council employees.
“I feel a victim of this treatment myself and the treatment of our temporary RFO (Responsible Financial Officer] [Cllr David Perkins, who is filling in for town clerk Chetna Jones) can only be described a appalling.
“Despite the best efforts of some of us this bullying and harassment has remained uncontrolled and unreported.
Lack of mutual respect
“It is my opinion that Honiton Town Council is broken, it is limping from one crisis to the next, it is diseased with negative energy, with personal battles of ego, with personal ambition; there is a lack of mutual respect and sense of common decency among its peers, and is fixated with the past.
“This type of behaviour affects the health of our employees, our members and our members’ families and is at best immature.
“We should be ashamed.
“I promise the town of Honiton that I will do all I can to achieve the aim’s (sic) I have set out above to the best of my ability. I will welcome all the co-operation and help I know I will receive from many of you and from the people of the town.
“I feel that my efforts will be most effective without the influence of the Town Council, and for that reason it is without regret or apology that I resign from the council with immediate effect.”