Family has to come first, says community council’s chair

Eyemouth's honorary provost, Jemma Landels, has resigned her position.
Eyemouth's honorary provost, Jemma Landels, has resigned her position.

Jemma Landels, Eyemouth’s honorary provost and chairwoman of the town’s community council has quit her post due to family reasons.

In a letter to Scottish Borders Council support officer Pauline Bolson, she says: “My personal circumstances have changed, and I am no longer able to devote the time necessary to effectively chair Eyemouth Town Community Council and herewith surrender my resignation.

SBC Councillor Michael Cook

SBC Councillor Michael Cook

“I wish the community council a prosperous future and would like to thank my fellow councillors and Scottish Borders Council councillors for their support and hard work over my period as chair.

Last month, the Berwickshire News reported that there were “ongoing issues” with the community council that had led to the resignations of vice-chairman George Power, treasurer James Anderson and Margaret Walker.

However, Mrs Landels insisted this week that there were no other hidden reasons for her leaving the hotseat.

She explained: “My son Euan, who is 20, accidentally injured his arm on Boxing Day evening, and he underwent a five-and-a-half-hour operation to try to save his right hand.

“At the moment, I don’t have the time or the concentration to think about anything other than my family.

“We are all trying to remain positive, but being positive can take up all your energy.

“I am gutted – I am a very community-minded person – but family must come first.”

Mrs Landels thanked all who helped her son following the accident as, she says without their actions, Euan could have lost his hand.

She said: “It shows that Eyemouth is a strong, resilient community, and we have to stay strong.”

Mrs Landels’ resignation leaves a large hole in an already-depleted community council no longer receiving funding from the local authority due to its issues.

There were eight members before Mrs Landels’ departure, the minimum number allowed being six.

East Berwickshire councillor Michael Cook, said this week that the community council should meet soon to discuss the situation.

He said: “It is desirable that community councils are as well populated with members as possible and, ideally, at the maximum number of community councillors permitted, which in this case is 12.

“This should help ensure the broadest representation for the community at large.

“I would suggest that they meet as soon as possible in order that they can take stock of where they stand.”