A Penryn Town Councillor who resigned after six months due to work has reflected on her experience of prayers in meetings and the treatment of newer councillors by senior ones.

Councillor Claire Wilson said in her resignation to the town's mayor, Shelley Peters, that she would be leaving as she had a new opportunity related to a business she had created, but her letter also included two comments on her time in office.

At a meeting on Monday where the letter was read out, councillors also discussed the case of Councillor Harry Willoughby, who has not attended since he was co-opted in May and is currently out of the country, meaning he is less than two weeks off being disqualified from his post.

In Mrs Wilson's resignation letter, Mrs Peters said, she stated she had put a proposition forward for a business quite some time ago and nothing had come of it, then "out of the blue" an opportunity had arisen related to it, and she "couldn't commit" to coming to council meetings.

Mrs Peters told councillors, "I emailed her back and asked her to consider; she took the decision to resign."

She also reflected on two things which had struck her at the council: "She felt uncomfortable that we started the meetings with prayers, because she is a practising Buddhist and found that discriminatory.

"And some councillors have made comments that the new councillors 'wouldn't understand things.'"

To the second point, Councillor John Langan asked "why are you looking at me?" Mrs Peters replied that no names had been mentioned in the letter," and added that Mrs Wilson had felt it would be more helpful for senior councillors to "sign post or explain things."

Councillor Vicky Bennett told the mayor she was "a little concerned" with the point raised about prayers, but would rather discuss the matter outside the council chamber.

Mrs Peters said the council had previously discussed the matter, and decided that councillors could sit out if they wished, or have a prayer from their religion included.

Mr Langan replied: "We discussed it prior to the new councillors, perhaps we should restate that."

Councillor Rebecca Holden said it hadn't been made clear when she joined the council in May, and added: "I feel that should be made explicit when we take on new councillors. To have that choice may well encourage people of different faiths and beliefs."

Mrs Peters then suggested that the matter be discussed again, and Mrs Bennett said: "Can we wait until we have got our two new councillors."

In the case of Mr Willoughby, members heard he had not resigned but after months of non-attendance had sent the mayor a letter saying he was "no longer in the country," but if the council felt he "could be of any service" it should let him know.

Mr Langan said: "He didn't show up [even] if he was in the country."

Mrs Peters said his absence from Monday's meeting made six months non-attendance, but town clerk Helen Perry said the council would have to wait until November 19.

The resignations, both by councillors who were co-opted in May this year, means the council will be looking for two new members, one in the east and one in the west ward, and Ms Perry will be asking Cornwall Council if the search for Mrs Wilson's replacement can wait until Mr Willoughby's post is terminated so both can be run together.