Deputy leader of new North Northants council resigns

Leader of Wellingborough council Martin Griffiths says he wants to devote his time to the borough council in its final months

Tuesday, 29th September 2020, 3:40 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th September 2020, 3:56 pm
Cllr Griffiths says he wants to devote time to leaving a legacy for Wellingborough council.

Wellingborough Council’s leader has resigned as deputy leader of the new North Northants shadow unitary council.

Cllr Martin Griffiths handed in his resignation yesterday, saying he wants to instead concentrate on leaving a legacy in Wellingborough in his final months.

It is just six months until the shadow authority becomes the new unitary council, with Kettering Wellingborough, East Northants and Corby councils all closing down to make way for the new super council.

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Cllr Griffiths’ resignation as deputy comes after the recent resignation of Wellingborough council’s managing director Liz Elliott as the interim chief executive of the shadow authority and monitoring officer Bhupinder Gill also stood down.

The shadow council is led by the Conservative leader of Kettering Council Russell Roberts, who was appointed to the top role by central government.

In his letter sent this afternoon to his fellow Wellingborough councillors Cllr Griffiths said: “I just wanted to let you know that after a lot of thought and consideration I have decided to resign from my North Northants Deputy Leader role to concentrate more on my leader role here at BCW; to ensure all our journeys have a positive ending and laying plans for the future for our residents and staff, delivering the significant projects for the town and borough and leaving the legacy we have talked about for some time and want to be remembered for.

“I will remain on the shadow executive as the leader of Wellingborough and to undertake this role fully, engaging in the duties as a member of that group but also as a shadow portfolio holder for Adult Social Care and Health, which I believe is the most exciting opportunity the unitary has to really transform lives and make a difference to our residents.

“I will make sure BCW will continue to be represented by myself and Cllr Partridge-Underwood until vesting day, so that we can make North Northamptonshire a great place we all want to work in, live in and can be proud of.”

It has been a tricky few months for Cllr Griffiths, who has led the Conservative authority since 2015. In the summer a group of eight councillors attempted a vote of no confidence in his leadership and Cllr Rob Gough accused the leader of bullying him. Cllr Griffiths denies the allegation and has brought a standards complaint against Cllr Gough.

Elections to the new unitary council will take place next May.

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