EIGHT Crondall and Ewshot Parish Council members have resigned because they refuse to work with Cllr Norman Lambert, claiming he is rude and arrogant.

The octet, including the new chairman, all verbally resigned and walked out of the council's first meeting of the political year on May 20.

The next morning they sent official resignation letters.

There may have to be a new election, which would cost the council at least £500.

Those who quit say their action came after six months of heated arguments with Cllr Lambert.

They asked him to leave the council a few months ago, but he refused. At the meeting he was asked to make a statement, and refused.

He left the meeting before the exodus after receiving a tip-off during a break in proceedings.

Afterwards Cllr Jennifer Kelly said: "Cllr Lambert has made the council meetings so difficult and unpleasant that we were not prepared to let it go on.

"His attitude has been one of arrogance and contempt.

"I am conscious that we have each taken a serious step in forcing the issue to this stage. I have acted as chairman for the last six months in the hope that a solution could be found, but it has proved hopeless and the strength of feeling in general was reflected by the number of councillors who resigned last night."

She continued: "There is a growing concern about conflicts of interest in Cllr Lambert, who has a role as both parish and district councillor.

"He has responsibility for development control at Hart and this makes it more difficult. Cllr Lambert's attitude is uncompromising when the vote goes against him in council meetings.

"We have lost a lot of people who had nothing better to do than serve the people, but when the meetings get so bad tempered it is very hard to find people to serve."

Cllr Paul Harris said: "Over a period of time Cllr Lambert unfortunately has upset a number of people with his disruptive behaviour, and over time people have resigned or not asked to be re-elected just because of this particular person.

"I have not taken this decision lightly but I am not prepared to work with him. Now it is likely to cost the council £500 for an election."

Cllr Lambert was not available for comment as the News went to press on May 22.