Read Councillor Harper's full letter of resignation as Leader of Fenland District Council

Here is Councillor Geoff Harper’s letter of resignation in full that was handed to Cambs Times Editor John Elworthy moments before last night’s meeting of the Conservative Group, and read in the meeting to party members.

THE following is Councillor Geoff Harper's letter of resignation that was handed to Cambs Times Editor John Elworthy moments before tonight's meeting of the Conservative Group, and read in the meeting to party members:

FOLLOWING Fenland District Council achieving "excellent" status by the Audit Commission and the Local Government Chronicle designation of the best District Council, it had been my intention to relinquish the Leadership of the council. However, as I was under investigation by the Standards Committee it was not an option until the matter was resolved.

This has now been resolved in my favour. I consider the whole affair was a vexatious political stunt to undermine my integrity.

The cost to the Fenland Council Tax-payer was �5,500. That is scandal and reminiscent of totalitarian regimes where anyone can be denounced by any individual pursuing their own political ends. I look forward to an incoming Conservative Government abolishing this expensive, time consuming and intrusive legislation.

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This matter was made worse by a member of the Fenland Conservative Group volunteering evidence against me during the enquiry. Perhaps that person will now consider resigning from the Group.

We are now involved in a serious internal dispute that yet again, the whole affair has been allowed to become public knowledge to the detriment of the council. Under these conditions I am no longer prepared to continue as Leader of the Fenland District Council and the Conservative Group.

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I therefore intend to resign these two positions on December 31 2009. Further I will not accept, if offered, any Portfolio in a new administration.

I will not seek re-election to Fenland District Council at the next election.

In conclusion I thank the Cabinet members and those members of the Group and the Conservative Party who have given me continuous support over the past years. Further, I wish to thank the Chief Executive and all the staff for their unswerving support.

I will be 73 in January and I consider it is the right time.

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