North Northants councillor who bought house in Norfolk resigns as planning committee chair - but will stay on as a council member

Councillor Clive Hallam had faced growing public pressure to quit his role after moving 100 miles away

Thursday, 26th May 2022, 4:08 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th May 2022, 4:55 pm
Cllr Hallam bought a house in a hamlet near the popular tourist destination of Wells-next-the-Sea. Image: Alison Bagley
Cllr Hallam bought a house in a hamlet near the popular tourist destination of Wells-next-the-Sea. Image: Alison Bagley

A councillor who represents Earls Barton but has a home on the beautiful Norfolk coast has stepped-down from his role as chair of Wellingborough’s area planning committee.

Cllr Clive Hallam faced public criticism after upping sticks from his Isham home to move to a coastal idyll near Wells-next-the-Sea. In an interview with the BBC earlier this year he admitted that he was looking to move house but would keep a local base.

In images seen by this newspaper, a removal van was seen outside his house in early February.

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Wells-next-the-Sea attracts visitors in their hundreds of thousands each year. Image: Alison Bagley

At the time he vowed to remain in his North Northamptonshire Council role, and to retain his Wellingborough planning committee chair’s position, which attracts a supplementary annual allowance of £3,750.

He later told our reporters he would be able to stay with his daughter in Kettering if he needed to be in the area for any reason.

Since moving three months ago, his meeting attendance has been 100 per cent.

Ahead of today’s (Thursday, May 26) NNC annual council meeting, it had been proposed the veteran Conservative member stay on as chair.

But he had faced serious criticism on local social media channels.

He told one commenter that he had never claimed mileage since moving, was still on the parish council and that he ‘spends whatever time he needs to’ in his ward helping residents.

But at this afternoon’s meeting leader Cllr Jason Smithers announced the Cllr Hallam would, in fact, be stepping down as chair of planning.

The Northants Telegraph understands opposition members had been planning to speak out against Cllr Hallam’s appointment, should it have gone ahead.

Cllr Hallam gave a brief statement in the Corby Cube chamber saying: “This has been a discussion for some time now. I have moved my local base into Kettering and I am happy to withdraw.”

He said his colleagues had his full support and thanked them.

Cllr Paul Bell, who has ended his year as council chairman, will step up to chair the planning committee.

Also at today’s meeting, leader Jason Smithers said he would use the 28 days available to him to find an executive replacement for Cllr Andy Mercer, who stepped down from his role for personal reasons.