County councillor for Irchester resigns from cabinet role

Cllr Martin Griffiths is leader of Wellingborough Council as well as county councillor for the Irchester ward
Cllr Martin Griffiths is leader of Wellingborough Council as well as county councillor for the Irchester ward
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A county councillor has resigned from his role as an assistant member of the cabinet.

Cllr Martin Griffiths was elected to represent the Irchester ward on Northamptonshire County Council in May this year.

The councillor went on to have the role of asssistant cabinet member for heritage, but he has taken the decision to resign from this position.

It comes just weeks after Wellingborough Council, which Cllr Griffiths is leader of, raised concerns with the county council about its proposals which could see bus subsidies, libraries, roads gritting and Trading Standards cut as part of £9.6 million savings.

Wellingborough Council is worried that the proposals could have a ‘severe and negative impact’ on individuals and families living in the borough if they go ahead.

Cllr Griffiths said: “That wasn’t like a vote of no confidence in Northamptonshire County Council but it was a way that we dealt with it in Wellingborough by saying we are concerned.

“That had unanimous support.”

And he added: “The situation was getting very difficult for me being leader of the borough council so I have resigned as cabinet member for heritage.”

Poor communication with backbenchers and the ongoing debate about Northamptonshire becoming a unitary authority were also among the reasons Cllr Griffiths decided to step down from his cabinet role.

He said: “When I became a county councillor, the first thing I decided to do was give £1,000 to the Friends of Irchester Library to redecorate the library and then I received the announcement that it was going to be part of these possible closures.

“What worries me most is what’s coming next.”

While speaking about his reasons for resigning, he said: “I am a great believer in the importance of heritage but not at the expense of services for the old and vulnerable of our community.”

He has said he will continue to support the Chester Farm project as it is important and in his ward, but he felt his position was ‘untenable’ so resigning from the assistant member role was the right decision.

He believes it is the right decision both for him and the 75,000 people he represents in the borough as well as the 17,000 people he represents in Irchester.

Cllr Griffiths says his resignation makes the situation ‘a lot easier’ and it will allow him to focus on representing the people who voted him in.

To read more about Northants County Council and the financial pressures it is facing, click here