Brian Peck has been elected Chairman and Mayor of Gerrards Cross Town Council after 'surprise' mass resignations last week.

The local property developer, who is the managing director of Mentmore Homes, was proposed by Cllr Jaspal Chhokar during the meeting of four councillors – the minimum number the Council needs to conduct business or be ‘quorate’.

Cllr Peck accepted the post on an interim basis until May 2024, the end of the current electoral year.

The newly-elected Chairman then returned the favour by proposing Cllr Chhokar as the new Deputy Chair for the remainder of the electoral year, which he accepted.

Cllr Crispin Da Costa abstained from the vote on the new Chair, while the only other councillor present at the Monday night meeting – Cllr Celia Stuart-Lee – seconded Cllr Peck’s appointment.

The election of a new Chair follows Andrew Wood’s resignation as Chair and Mayor of the Council last week, which was followed by the exit of a further five councillors.

Bucks Free Press: Cllr Chhokar (L) and Cllr Peck (R) proposed each other as the new Deputy Chairman and Chairman, respectivelyCllr Chhokar (L) and Cllr Peck (R) proposed each other as the new Deputy Chairman and Chairman, respectively (Image: Bucks Free Press)

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Cllr Peck told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that he had not expected last week’s mass resignations from the Council.

He said: “I am not going to make many comments, because as you can appreciate, it all happened a week ago. It was a surprise.

“I will work for this Town Council as I have always worked for this Town Council. I have lived in this town for 44 years. My family grew up here. It is important to me.”

During the meeting, the Deputy Town Clerk also gave an update on the mass Council resignations, which has halved the number of councillors, and sparked six upcoming by-elections.

She said councillors who had recently left the Council had ‘been deleted’ by the IT company and are in the process of returning their equipment.

Several Committee appointments were also announced at the meeting.

Former Gerrards Cross councillors Tim Greenfield, John O’keeffe and Peter Roberts – who all quit the Council last week – were among a small group of members of the public who attended the EGM.

A Gerrards Cross Town Council spokesperson said: "We acknowledge the unexpected resignation of six councillors last Monday 11th September 2023.

"We regret that these former councillors chose to resign from the Council and thank them for their service to the town.

"Residents should continue to contact the Council as usual with any matters they would like to address.

"The remaining councillors look forward to continuing to serve the local residents, putting their interests first and continuing to build on the achievements of the last two years.

"Councillor Brian Peck has taken on the role of Chairman / Mayor of the council for the rest of 2023/2024 (until May 2024).

"The council is continuing preparations for the Christmas Extravaganza event on 24th November 2023.

"We look forward to welcoming replacement councillors to the Council in due course, once the electoral process has been completed."