General manager Greg Winton said Cr Belcher's requested leave was for personal reasons. Cr Martyn Evans moved that the application be granted, and this was seconded by Cr Rachel Power. There was no further discussion and the motion was carried unanimously.
Cr Belcher has today published a public statement on Facebook about his reasons for taking leave to focus on personal matters and his new business Pauly's Pizza, and advising that he will still be able to be contacted about council matters.
"I love this place we call home and that's why I have invested here in the valley to create employment for our youth and get them in the workforce. I have another business idea I'm working on at [the] moment which again will be here in New Norfolk, again investing here to employee here to keep the Valley ticking over and attract people to our region," Cr Belcher said.
"I would like to thank you all for your support and I'll be back around the table again in no time to help move the Valley forward. I can still be contacted [regarding] council issues. I believe in this place, that's why I will continue to invest and live here."