GENIAL Neil Allsopp has resigned from Saddleworth Parish Council after nearly 12 years of public service.

In a letter to parish clerk Sharon Jones he wrote: “Throughout my adult life I have always believed Saddleworth matters should only be decided by Saddleworth people.

“Therefore, when I moved to Holmfirth I intended to resign from Saddleworth Parish Council. However, as the Covid-19 pandemic regulations prevented any elections from taking place I decided to temporarily suspend my plans.

“Also, several of my fellow councillors requested I continue to serve the council and the Saddleworth community through the difficult times that lay ahead. At least until more 'normal' times returned.

“While it’s obvious normality is some way off, a 'new normality' emerging. Pupils are returning to school, employees returning to work, commercial activity gathering pace. Also, provided we are Covid secure, the Parish Council is planning a return to 'face to face' meetings in the civic hall by the end of the month. I believe now is the time to resurrect my plans and resign from Saddleworth Parish Council.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to serve Saddleworth as a councillor. My grateful thanks to the people of the Greenfield and Lydgate ward for choosing me as their representative, not just once but at three consecutive elections.

“My time as chairman was, without doubt, one of the best times of my life. No one ever wore that chain with more pride and the kindness of the Saddleworth people was so very touching.

“I would like to thank all of the staff including yourself and previous clerks for their support, advice and good humour throughout. Also, their endless patience.”

He added: “I wish my fellow Councillors, Saddleworth Parish Council and the people of Saddleworth continued health, wealth and prosperity in the finest County of all:Yorkshire!

“May God bless Saddleworth and her people.”

His resignation is effective from midnight September 30.