HALF of Gerrards Cross Town Council has resigned over ‘toxic’ backlash at the Mayor’s romance with the Town Clerk.

John O’Keeffe, Tim Greenfield, Sarah Davey, Peter Roberts and Norman Barnett quit their roles as volunteer local councillors on Monday, September 11, morning.

The mass walkout, which the Council confirmed to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS), followed Andrew Wood’s resignation as Mayor and Councillor.

The six resignations leave six councillors remaining on the town council, which needs a minimum of four members to be able to conduct business.

The exodus follows months of bitter rows among councillors over outgoing Mayor Andrew Wood’s relationship with Town Clerk Jiya Jilani.

Mr Wood, who asked Ms Jilani on a date in February 2023, told the LDRS: “I love her to bits.”

He added: “That’s a very nice position to be in considering my wife died of cancer 12 years ago and I never thought I’d be like this again. She’s beautiful inside and out.”

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The outgoing Mayor, who remains a Buckinghamshire Council councillor, claims his personal relationship with Ms Jilani has been properly declared and regulated.

However, other councillors are said to have reacted badly to the workplace romance, with meetings descending into chaos and allegations of discrimination and bullying being levelled.

In their letters of resignation, seen by the LDRS, councillors speak of their pride at serving Gerrards Cross but say they must resign due to the behaviour of other Council members.

Bucks Free Press: Tim Greenfield, who has resigned, claimed there had been 'aggressive and angry behaviour' at meetings in recent monthsTim Greenfield, who has resigned, claimed there had been 'aggressive and angry behaviour' at meetings in recent months (Image: Tim Greenfield)


Mr Greenfield said: “I have noted disorder during meetings with some becoming aggressive and angry behaviour, which as a Councillor should not be allowed.

“I’ve witnessed discrimination, harassing and bullying actions, false accusations, and blatant lies.”

The councillor, who has been in his role since 2021, told the LDRS: “I am totally tired.”

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He added: “It’s hit me in a big way. I feel sad, but I had to leave. I wanted to show my support for Andrew.”

Mr Barnett praised the ‘charismatic leadership’ of Mr Wood and referred to one of two recent extraordinary general meetings (EGMs) held by the Council during which members discussed appointing an external company to deal with the unravelling HR situation.

His resignation statement read: “The actions of this group at the last EGM on the 4th September have created an environment of personal attacks, in-fighting and meetings have become toxic as a consequence.

“I no longer want to be associated with these people and their petty minded and low-level machinations.”

Ms Davey’s letter of resignation read: “There has been disharmony and issues within the Town Council which I cannot support nor want to be a part of.”

The remaining councillors on Gerrards Cross Town Council have been approached for comment.