A COUNCILLOR who became ‘overwhelmed’ with the role has resigned less than a year after being elected.

Sally Maslin, who said she joined the borough council to try and make a difference, admitted struggling as a councillor to come to terms with politics and procedures and ‘lost confidence’.

She apologised to electors for ‘letting them down’.

The resignation of Cllr Maslin means there will be a by-election for the Westham East Ward on Weymouth and Portland Borough Council.

Ms Maslin won the seat for the Liberal Democrats last May, beating sitting Labour councillor Mike Byatt who was then leader of the Labour group on the council.

Ms Maslin said she decided to stand as a councillor after retiring as a teacher.

In an honest and open statement to the Echo, she said: “When the idea was raised that I might try standing for the council, I first dismissed it; then saw how I might be able to do something useful for my local community by being a councillor; might even help to make a difference.

“I saw it as being about local issues, rather more than about politics – indeed, the party I went with I chose, thinking they were less likely to be strongly political.

“However, I had not been on the council many months when I realised the terrible mistake I had made, and I found myself drowning in the three dreaded ‘P’s: protocol, procedure and politics.

“I struggled to learn and to follow these, and to understand ‘council speak’ language.”

Ms Maslin said she lost confidence as she struggled and it even affected her health.

She was persuaded to stay on but in the end had to quit. She stayed on for such a time that the subsequent by-election can be held on Thursday, May 4 – the same day as the county council elections – thus saving money.

Ms Maslin said: “The last months have been difficult, but I have now reached the end of my journey.

“I feel very sorry that I have let people down in the ward I represented – and I have met many lovely people whilst doing this – but I do feel sure that my proposed replacement is far more suitable, being more assertive, confident and unwilling to give in, but with a great sense of humour and personality as well.”