The great-granny who humbled the district council in the High Court by overturning planning consent for a gasifier in Sutton Bridge has resigned from her parish council.
Shirley Giles, 75, cited a number of reasons for her departure in a resignation letter read out at Tuesday night’s meeting, but insists she will stay on guard and be ready to go back to court if the plan for a gasifier power station – dubbed an incinerator or “cancinerator” by opponents – ever resurfaces.
She said: “I don’t think the gasifier will ever come back but, if it does, I am still here. I didn’t have to be a parish councillor last time to do it.”
Shirley used her own money for the High Court battle, but won back those costs along with a victory that saw South Holland District Council racking up a legal bill for nearly £10,500.
Earlier this year, the district council planning committee refused an amended application from EnergyPark Sutton Bridge because for seven months the company failed to answer a series of key questions – including the fuel to be burned and its source.
At that time, South Holland and The Deepings MP John Hayes said: “The people of Sutton Bridge – and I think all of the residents of South Holland – owe Shirley an immense debt of gratitude.”
Shirley’s resignation letter levelled criticisms at some fellow parish councillors but she says she enjoyed her three years on the council and has nothing but praise for clerk Suzanne England, assistant clerk Karen Croxford, and chairman John Grimwood.
“Suzanne and Karen are really professional,” said Shirley. “I can’t praise them enough. John is a very hands-on chairman who does a lot of extra work. If anything needs doing, he’s there with his screwdriver etc, etc.”
Shirley has put her home on the market and, when it sells, she will move to Hampshire to be closer to her family.
She said: “I want to see my great-grandchildren grow up.”
Meanwhile Shirley will focus her efforts on further developing the village foodbank that opened last year.