Thursday, September 16, 2010

By Election to be held in Coleridge

With great reluctance, I have taken the decision to stand down from the Council, and have today resigned with immediate effect. It is expected that a by election will be called in Coleridge to be held in approx 6 weeks time.

Being a councillor should not have to be a full-time job - the last thing we want is a tier of relatively highly paid local politicians living off the taxpayer. But the time it takes to do it can come close. I always tried to be the type of Councillor who is accessible, keeps in touch with residents and is active in trying to solve local issues. As the only elected Conservative in Cambridge (let alone the only Conservative out of 4 Coleridge Councillors), I also tried taking on a remit including moving forward the case for a Conservative alternative for the future development of the City, as well as trying to scrutinise decisions across the City Council. This remit is always going to be a challenge, but over the last few months, for various reasons, it has been impossibly difficult to make any progress, and the commensurate 'job-satisfaction' in being a Councillor all but vanished.

My professional career has effectively been on hold since I was re-elected and for that reason I decided some time ago that I wouldn't stand for re-election at the end of my term in 2012, to focus on career development. Without the prospect of being able to make significant progress politically before this time, I came to the conclusion that I needed to bring forward that decision, step down now and let the baton be taken up by someone who can make progress in the longer term.

It has genuinely been an immense privelege and honour to serve residents in Coleridge over the last two and a half years as a City Councillor (as it was in Cherry Hinton from 2000 to 2004), and to be part of the democratic process scrutinising how decisions are taken affecting Cambridge now and in the future. I remain deeply interested in many of the key issues facing us in Cambridge - how we develop the local economy in a way that helps all local residents and supports the national economy, and how we can bring new and better housing and transport to the area with the support of local residents and without damaging the things that makes Cambridge special. Whilst I may continue to engage with the issues, I am retiring from party politics for the forseeable future.

Much of the our local campaigning in Coleridge has very much been a team effort - I thank those in the ward team who have given me unstinting help and support, and would urge residents to support the Conservative candidate at the forthcoming by-election - Coleridge and Cambridge desperately needs a Conservative voice!

11 comments:

Richard Williams said...

Well, I for one think you deserve thanks and congratulations for all of the hard work that you have put in, alone and often unthanked, over the years. It certainly is the end of an era ...

Martin said...

Gosh, that is a great shame that you are standing down. I hope your future endeavours go well though!

Richard Normington said...

You worked hard, achieved much and deserve thanks.

Viv said...

This news has prompted me to make my first ever blog contribution! Well done Chris for being such a dedicated and hard working Councillor over the years and for making Cambridge elections a much more interesting affair. No Party could take their seat for granted whilst you were out there campaigning and pushing leaflets through letterboxes. Your contribution is a text book example of what being a good Local Councillor is all about. Good luck Mate. Viv

Graham Stuart MP said...

Always scrupulous, always straight and incredibly committed to public service. It was a privilege to serve as a councillor with you. You will be much missed.

Anonymous said...

Politically I am in a different camp from you Chris, but you did work hard in Coleridge and I'd like to say thank you! M F-S

Matt Bradney said...

Chris, I know you worked exceptionally hard for not only the residents of Coleridge, but the whole of Cambridge. Cambridge is a poorer place this morning. I understand your decision, and I am sorry you feel let down by some quarters. All the best...

Amanda Taylor said...

We shall miss the one and only Tory cyclist councillor. All the best for the future -- Amanda

Phil said...

If only the council representatives of the other parties worked a fraction as hard as you have and exercised a bit of common sense instead of blindly following the crazy party line, and made decisions that are right for Cambridge - then it would be a much better place.
A sad loss..

cobweb said...

I'm sorry about that, Chris. You came across as a thoughtful, hard working councillor. Good luck in your future career though.

Andrew Bower said...

Thanks to Chris for all his work here and all over Cambridge and beyond for well over a decade and his loyal support and toil for other campaigners and candidates. The commenters above have all been bang on the mark. Chris will be a hard act to follow for the next Coleridge councillor.

Personally I am absolutely gutted at this move but the good news is that Chris's legacy is not just in the work that he has done and the campaigns that he has run but in the many people that he has inspired and trained over the years. The team will be picking up some of the campaigns that Chris has started.