RESIDENTS in Stretton have called for the resignation of absent councillor Maggie Fowkes, who moved 100 miles out of the village to Norfolk earlier this year.
A petition signed by more than 100 people has been sent to East Staffordshire Borough Council calling for the Tory to step down from her role and for a by-election to take place to fill the post.
But Councillor Fowkes, who has served on the council since 2007, said she had no intention of forsaking her council duties, as she believes she is capable of serving residents just as she always has.
The petition, which was submitted last month after being coordinated by a resident, states: “In May 2011, the electorate of Stretton voted for three borough councillors. For the last months we have only had two active representatives.
“Our concerns are with how you can justify allowing somebody to carry on representing Stretton whilst living in Norfolk. We did not and never would vote for someone living in Norfolk.”
A response from the council said no by-election would be held unless Councillor Fowkes resigned – something she said she will not do.
She told the Mail: “I fully intend to keep the role until the next election.
“I am still working for the council and the residents of Stretton, and I do frequently get come back and have people contacting me. With the beauty of email and telephones, and my knowledge of the village for 58 years, I can still support residents.”
She praised fellow Stretton councillors Len Milner and Rebecca Carlton, and said the trio worked well as a team.
Councillor Fowkes, who no longer receives a council allowance, was sent the petition from the council. She said: “Until I saw the petition I was extremely homesick, but when I read it and saw who had signed it, it helped me try to fit in where I am.”
Council leader Richard Grosvenor has previously defended her position.