It’s the write time to leave

As many of you may know, I shall not be entering the annual election for leadership of the county council in May. At that stage I will have done 10 years in the position – that seemed to me a reasonable anniversary at which to re-examine my priorities i

As many of you may know, I shall not be entering the annual election for leadership of the county council in May.

At that stage I will have done 10 years in the position - that seemed to me a reasonable anniversary at which to re-examine my priorities in life.

In the course of that review last December, I decided that this May would be a good time to move over and let someone younger and fresher take up the mantle. I will, of course, continue as a "back bench" county councillor.

Naturally, I did not announce the decision publicly when I made it. I can learn something from Tony Blair, and I realised that his early announcement of his eventual departure made him yesterday's man overnight.


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I happen to know that certain people are running books on why I and the chief executive are both leaving the council within a short interval - what awful problems or skeletons are about to emerge? The boring truth is that Ian Stewart wanted to leave a year or so ago to move on to other things, but I persuaded him to stay on long enough to see me out. I could not face having to break in a third chief executive. At the time, we both thought that "seeing me out" meant 2009. If there are any skeletons in the corporate cupboard, they are so well hidden that even I do not know about them.

As a consequence of this decision of mine, this will be my last column for The Hunts Post. I must record how much I have enjoyed the opportunity the paper gave me. I have also enjoyed the public reaction to it - even from people who disagree vehemently with what I say.

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So a big thank you to the editorial team who have allowed this rank amateur an amazing amount of licence over the years. My best wishes to readers and The Hunts Post staff.

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