June 18 2013 Latest news:
By John Elworthy , The Editor
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
HE will naturally be missed as a member of Cambridgeshire County Council but Alan Melton – standing down after 16 years- will forever be remembered for what happened in November 2007.
Cllr Melton, who confirmed today he will not seek re-election in May for his Chatteris seat, said: “I have decided to step down now as I feel that my tenure has run its natural course.”
But Cllr Melton – who will continue as a Fenland councillor where he remains leader- never recovered at Shire Hall from the reputational fall out from that fateful November of six years ago.
At the time he was Cabinet member for corporate services but resigned ten days after Councillor Shona Johnstone – also standing down in May- quit as leader.
Cllr Melton’s departure from the Shire Hall Cabinet followed bitter behind the scenes recriminations over the aborted but later successful attempt to recruit Mark Lloyd as chief executive.
He said his decision to quit was for “personal reasons” but many- wrongly- blamed him for revealing details of behind the scenes arguments over the appointments process which, ironically, he chaired.
Councillor Keith Waters was brought back as temporary leader, travelled north to tempt Mr Lloyd back to the fold, and the rest, they say, is history.
In the six years since Cllr Melton has neither sought nor been invited back into the county ‘fold’ but in recent times has worked noticeably well and positively with the current leader Councillor Nick Clarke.
Cllr Melton said: “It has been an exciting 16 years, a lot has happened on my watch”.
Modernisation of The King Edward Centre, a new leisure centre, expansion of Glebelands school, re building of Kingsfield school, Building Schools for the Future and development of South Fens Business Centre have all happened in that time.
“I cannot claim full responsibility for all of these marvellous achievements, however, I am extremely proud to have been part of the team that made all of this happen,” he said.
Cllr Melton said it was now “time for someone with renewed enthusiasm to take over my place. I intend to spend more time pursuing other interests and enjoy more leisure time.
“The next four years in local government are going to be very challenging, despite diminishing resources, expectations have never been higher”
His Conservative successor as a prospective candidate will be chosen shortly.
At the 2009 election he held his Chatteris seat with 50.9 per cent of the vote (1,140 votes) but Lib Dem Chris Howes came close with 42.9 per cent (975 votes).