THE chairman of North Berwick Community Council has quit, claiming the group is “increasingly split by factions”.

A “frustrated” Tommy Todd wrote to the watchdog group to tender his resignation both as chairman and member.

At a meeting of the community council last Tuesday, not attended by Mr Todd, vice-chair Claire Mackenzie read out his resignation letter.

It said: “When standing for [community] council, my mandate was ‘change’ but effecting change is very difficult.

“North Berwick Community Council proved to be no different.

“With a [community] council increasingly split by factions, the machinations led to increasing frustration and my ultimate decision to effect my own change – I resign.”

Mr Todd – who recently closed his High Street boutique Kilbucho but trades online as Tribal Tartans – was appointed chairman at the group’s AGM in November last year, taking over from Hilary Smith, who stood down to become chairwoman of the local area partnership.

He said he was “immensely proud” of the project he co-ordinated to install public access defibrillators in the town and also the replacement of bollards and chains at Elcho Green.

Mr Todd added that it was with “regret” that he had resigned as both chairman and as a community councillor and added: “I tried my best to make a difference.”

He vowed not to “fall back into obscurity”, adding: “I love North Berwick too much not to be an advocate for change.

“It will just be funnelled via a different direction.”

Mrs Mackenzie told the meeting: “It is a shame that it has come to this – it is all a bit of a mess. I would like to thank Tommy for all his hard work as chairman.”

Members made no further comment at the meeting regarding Mr Todd’s claims but agreed to defer any decision on who would succeed him as chairman, with Mrs Mackenzie adding: “I think we need to take some time to reflect.”

His departure means there is a casual vacancy on North Berwick Community Council, while Mr Todd will also step down as a trustee of North Berwick Trust.