Cllr Melton resigns from key corporate services cabinet
EXCLUSIVE By John Elworthy FALL-out from the chief executive crisis at Shire Hall took a further dramatic turn today (Wed) with the resignation of Councillor Alan Melton from the key corporate services Cabinet portfolio. His shock resignation came just 1
By John Elworthy
FALL-out from the chief executive crisis at Shire Hall took a further dramatic turn today (Wed) with the resignation of Councillor Alan Melton from the key corporate services Cabinet portfolio.
His shock resignation came just 10 days after Councillor Shona Johnstone quit as leader over the debacle over the recruitment of a chief executive.
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Cllr Melton said his decision to quit was for personal reasons but his resignation letter hints of bitter behind the scenes recriminations following the aborted attempt to find a new £200,000 chief executive for the council.
Ironically Cllr Melton chaired the appointments committee which recommended Mark Lloyd, chief executive of Durham County Council, to the post but he later withdrew after telephone contact with Cllr Johnstone.
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Cllr Melton describes himself in his resignation letter as "someone who loves working in local government, especially Cambridgeshire" but says recent unfolding events
"have left the organisation in a vulnerable position."
In his resignation letter to temporary leader Councillor Keith Walters, Cllr Melton says in recent months he has been under "particular personal and professional pressure.
"As you may be aware, my mother suffered a massive stroke in June, followed by the brain bleed to my daughter Emma early in September. It is no exaggeration to say that she was as close to death as any one can be.
"My mother is recovering well, but yesterday we were informed that Emma might need further treatment.
"I have therefore decided that I should spend the next few months giving more attention to my family."
Cllr Melton added: "I have spent 13 weeks of this year visiting hospitals and medical briefings, and although I have received considerable support from my colleagues and officers of the council, the events and strains of the past four weeks have proved to be intolerable and unsustainable upon my family and me."
Assuring the Cabinet of his support from the back benches, Cllr Melton said he believed that under Cllr Walters' leadership and renewed energy "the authority will recover and once again take its place among the best performing councils."
Cllr Melton told me that the decision to quit "was mine alone. I have enjoyed the job, and have worked with some great people. But it is virtually a full time job. I looked at my diary and realised that 14 working days in November alone were to be spent at Shire Hall."
He said his daughter Emma was "coming along fine" but he wanted to be there for her as she continued to recover.