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Thetford councillor steps down

PUBLISHED: 19:38 13 May 2008 | UPDATED: 21:05 07 July 2010

One of Thetford's youngest town councillors has announced that he is standing down because of work commitments.

When Gareth Pickering, 29, and his brother Sam Chapman-Allen, 21, were elected onto Thetford Town Council last year, they helped cut its average age from 70 to 58.

One of Thetford's youngest town councillors has announced that he is standing down because of work commitments.

When Gareth Pickering, 29, and his brother Sam Chapman-Allen, 21, were elected onto Thetford Town Council last year, they helped cut its average age from 70 to 58.6 years.

But Mr Pickering, who works for Vodafone in Bury St Edmunds, has now decided to relinquish his position as a town councillor because of work pressure and his decision to move away from Thetford.

The news comes after representatives from the Thetford Labour Party revealed that the councillor had only attended four out of

27 full council and planning meetings over the last year.

Mr Pickering, who was elected onto the Saxon ward with is brother and mother Marion Chapman-Allen, last May, said it was with “great reluctance” that he would be resigning at the next town council meeting.

“I very much enjoyed representing local residents and taking the work of the town council forward. We are very lucky in Thetford to have a great community spirit and growth point is going to mean great new opportunities for everyone, especially younger people.

“I am really sad to be leaving the town council especially at this very exciting time, but I just cannot give the amount of time that this important role requires because of my work commitments,” he said.

Sylvia Armes, of the Thetford Labour Party, who had been calling on Mr Pickering to resign, said: “At this time of change in Thetford, we need councillors who will represent the people from their area and stick up for the interests of the town. They simply cannot do this if they fail to attend a single meeting of the town council for nearly six whole months.”

A by-election for the vacant Saxon ward seat will take place in due course.

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