THE Derwent Valley Council will operate with only seven elected members until the October election following the resignation of councillor Paul Belcher today. In a statement issued to selected media (not including the New Norfolk News), mayor Martyn Evans said Mr Belcher had made a significant contribution to the community and was widely respected.
Mr Belcher, a disability support worker who has been campaigning for election as mayor, has said in his own statement that an opportunity has arisen in his life that will involve a career change. He said the change meant he could not not remain on the council and he would not be taking part in this year's election.
Mayor Evans said Mr Belcher had been an invaluable member of council since his election in 2014. “On behalf of council and staff, I would like to thank Paul for his service and commitment to our community. Paul has been a very passionate advocate for the Derwent Valley prior to and during his time on council”
“Paul’s advocacy for the ratepayer around rates and the cost of living is exemplary of his devotion to making this community and the valley a better place. I wish him the best of luck in his future pursuits” Cr Evans said.
Due to the short timeframe until the next election, the vacancy on council will not be filled. Mr Belcher is the second councillor to leave the Derwent Valley Council this year, following Damian Bester who resigned in February due to changes in his own employment.