North Tawton resident Christian Martin has resigned his position as North Tawton Town councillor, claiming that there is a "culture of bullying" within the council.

His resignation comes after a long battle between the town council and Mr Martin, who repeatedly sparked controversy within the town after claiming "discrimination," "poor governance," and "misinformation" within the council.

In his letter, Mr Martin wrote: "The principle that your decision must not only be right, it must be seen to be right by the public is failed in a council where scrutiny is shy, where representatives are fearful of recriminations for asking questions or speaking up or intimidated into silence by a culture of bullying, poor advice and misinformation. The omission of facts results in inconsistent interpretation of procedure and policies, financial scrutiny and poor governance.

"When clear cases of direct discrimination are central to this narrative it becomes difficult to see how anyone, regardless of the thickness of their skin can endure the bullying and the hurt, pain and stress this causes. Untenably driven by fallacious and malicious tittle-tattle the only choice for one's sanity and wellbeing is to withdraw from the assault of insults and remove yourself from further harm. Accordingly I am resigning from North Tawton Town Council."

However, North Tawton residents have condemned Mr Martin's claims on social media and instead argued that he has bullied other council members and staff, cost the council money, and censored those expressing differing opinions. Mr Martin has denied all these allegations.

Former town councillor Penelope Bath said that she had never experienced bullying during her time on the council, never felt pressured to vote a certain way, and, as an accountant, had never noticed irregularities or irresponsible spending in the council's finances.

Mr Martin has also been criticised for sending numerous freedom of information (FOI) requests, which the council said prevented other council business from being completed because the clerk became involved in answering FOI requests. 

A spokesperson for North Tawton Town Council, said: "North Tawton Town Council accepts Mr Martin's resignation, which is unfortunate as Mr Martin has a lot to offer the council with his experience coming from a larger council and contributing his knowledge to benefit of the parish, including as a member of the finance committee who presented to full council a zero increase in council tax for North Tawton residents. North Tawton Town Council do not wish to comment on continued unproven allegations made by Mr Martin and wish him all the best in the future."

Mr Martin held a town councillor position for nearly two years after being co-opted onto the council in 2022. Despite the controversy surrounding some of his actions, Mr Martin has championed the rights of the LGBTQ+ community and other groups in the town during his time as councillor and successfully fought to lower North Tawton's council tax. He was formerly a Bristol city councillor.

Read Mr Martin's full resignation letter on the Okehampton Times website at