A LACK of openness and transparency have been quoted among the reasons for the vice-chairman of Whitehaven Town Council to step down from the role.

Carla Arrighi will remain a councillor serving her Whitehaven South ward, but she resigned as vice-chairman after a row with the town’s mayor, councillor Brian O’Kane.

Ms Arrighi said she and Mr O’Kane had delegated powers to make decisions on behalf of the authority during the pandemic, however if an argument ensued he would overrule her.

She also felt the council should really return to full meetings, although she claimed excuses were made.

“Unfortunately there is not enough openness and transparency within the group," she said.

“Myself and several other councillors asked for a Zoom or Teams meeting, but excuse after excuse was given.”

Ms Arrighi added that, despite decisions being delegated to herself and Mr O’Kane, in line with guidance given to parish councils, she felt some information was being held from her.

“I was being told of things happening within the council that I knew nothing about. This is not a case of throwing the baby out of with the bathwater, on my part it was a case where the vice chair knew nothing.”

She added that as soon as she offered her resignation, an informal Zoom meeting was arranged.

Mr O’Kane told the News & Star he had no desire to drag the council into a dispute in the press.

He said: “I don’t think our community needs councillors to be arguing.

“I walked down King Street yesterday and my heart just goes out to those whose shops have had to close down.

“Our concentration as councillors should be to support those businesses. The most important thing is how we can work to the benefit of our town.”