A PARISH council chairman has quit following years of service after being criticised at a public meeting.

Simon Burwood resigned from Heybridge Parish Council in November.

In a statement, Mr Burwood said: “It is with regret that I have decided to stand down as both chairman and as a councillor for Heybridge Parish Council.

“I have enjoyed and been honoured to have had the opportunity to represent the residents of Heybridge in so many areas, but especially the Green Gym, which I still intend to play an active part.

“Heybridge continues to grow with the new developments in North Heybridge and I wish the council and the new chairman Richard Perry every success for the future.

“I will follow their actions with continued interest.”

Mr Burwood said he would not be making any further statement about the reason he quit.

Mr Perry has been chairman before.

He said: “Heybridge Parish Council is one of the largest parish councils in the district and has 12 members.

“We are blessed with two sitting district councillors as members together with an ex-district councillor and ex-leader of Maldon District Council.

“We therefore have a wealth of experience between us and we are all very passionate about our community and commitments, which sometimes means we don’t see eye to eye on every single issue which you would expect.

“I pay tribute to Simon’s dedication and commitment to the parish council throughout his time with us and wish him all the best for the future.”