East Cambs councillor Tom Hunt quits to take up ‘politically restricted role’ with new Cambs mayor James Palmer

Tom Hunt - has quit East Cambs Council for role with mayor James Palmer

Tom Hunt - has quit East Cambs Council for role with mayor James Palmer - Credit: Archant

Tom Hunt fought unsuccessfully to enter the European Parliament, failed to win a Commons seat in the June election and yesterday resigned from East Cambs Council to work with newly elected mayor James Palmer.

By election now imminent in East Cambs following resignation of Tom Hunt.

By election now imminent in East Cambs following resignation of Tom Hunt. - Credit: Archant

A council spokesman described Mr Hunt’s role with the combined authority run by Mr Palmer- himself a former East Cambs leader- as “a politically restricted role”.

Mr Hunt will quit his job as a media relations manager at the pressure group Countryside Alliance to join the combined authority.

The former Ely south councillor “will no longer be able to carry out his role as a councillor” said the East Cambs spokesman who didn’t define the job Mr Hunt has taken.

Mr Hunt himself said: “I worked very closely with James when he led the council and I believe that he can achieve great things for the people of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough over the next four years.

“I very much look forward to being part of his team as of next week.”

A by election for the vacant seat will follow over the coming weeks. Mr Hunt was first elected as a Conservative councillor for the Ely south ward in May 2011 and was re elected in May 2015.

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“The decision to stand down mid term is neither an easy one nor one that I’ve taken lightly,” he said.

“However, it’s my belief that the chance to make a meaningful contribution at the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority over the next few years represents unique opportunity and one that I’m keen not to miss.

“I’ve long been a supporter of the Government’s devolution agenda, always believing that decisions should be taken as closely as possible to the people they effect.

“As a councillor I’ve been a keen supporter for the proposals for devolution here in Cambridgeshire and was delighted when James Palmer was elected as the first Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough in May.

“Since I was first elected over six years ago the area has been on a big journey. Many of the things that were but distant aspirations when I first stood for election are now a reality.

“Standing in my early twenties one of my key objectives was to play my part in pushing for Ely to be a better place for young people and young families. Six years on, with the new cinema open and leisure centre on the horizon, it’s very pleasing to look back and reflect on how much has been achieved. It’s been a pleasure to have been part of that.”

He said that “on a personal level, I was very proud to have passed a motion at full council for the Union flag to fly from the flag pole at the council on a permanent basis.

“I wish all Ely south residents, my successor, and the Council all the very best for the future. I am confident that the current leadership will continue to take the council from strength to strength.”