Godmanchester - sniping is why I’m leaving town council

IT is with great reluctance that I have decided to resign from Godmanchester Town Council.

When I joined the council seven years ago the pride of the council was that it was non-political. Over the years I have seen that idealism eroded.

I have tried my best to leave my political colours at home and work for the good of the town I love.

Unfortunately, my genuine efforts to try to help make a difference as an ordinary non-partial councillor have met with political sniping in recent times.

I have tried hard to work with all councillors, including those from rival parties, and even nominated a political opponent onto the town council. However, I feel that my efforts are continually being snubbed and derided.

I was deeply disappointed when, having served the town as deputy mayor three years ago, my political opponents decided to break with tradition to put up a last minute candidate to challenge and defeat me for position of town mayor, the highest honour Godmanchester has to offer, and to use the office for their own political gains.

During my period as deputy mayor I proudly represented our town at many events and never claimed one penny in expenses.

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Despite that disappointment, I dusted myself down and got on with trying to do my best for the residents of the town – without holding any grudges.

But I believe that, during the past year, the harmony within the council chamber has been damaged by those who have constantly been trying to draw me into political arguments or to enjoy political point-scoring.

I have tried to resist being drawn into unpleasant name-calling. However, I recognise this constant sniping has become wearing for me and also for fellow councillors.

May I say that there are many councillors on Godmanchester Town Council who give up their spare time for no financial reimbursement but for the good of the town? And I have nothing but respect for them.

I feel that my presence is acting as a distraction and therefore it is best for the council, the town and for me if I withdraw from the front line and allow others to try to make a difference, while I continue to do my bit in other ways.

Let me make it clear that I am not abandoning Godmanchester Town Council. I will offer my services, as I have done since its inception a few years ago, to design and produce our town newspaper as a service to our community.

Prior to reaching this decision I had already put my name down to stand as a councillor on Huntingdon Town Council.

Having been questioned about my motives, they are quite clear.

Godmanchester’s life blood is very dependent on the vibrancy of the transport links, banks, shops etc of Huntingdon town centre. Also, with the planned expansion of another 1,000 dwellings in Godmanchester, the main artery of both towns, the town bridge will have tremendous effect on both Godmanchester and Huntingdon.

Let us not also forget that the town towns are indelibly linked - Gumcestrians shop, work and go to school in Huntingdon, as well as use their leisure facilities, pubs and restaurants.

It is naive to believe in some kind of us-and-them philosophy

I will continue to work as hard as I have always done for the residents of Godmanchester through my district council role and, should the day come that our town council returns to its former traditions, I would be once again proud to offer myself as a candidate to serve the people of Godmanchester.