Former councillor for Boughton Brendan Clarke-Smith steps down to devote more time to role as MP for Bassetlaw
A councillor has stepped down to devote more time to his role as MP for Bassetlaw.
Brendan Clarke-Smith, who represented the Boughton ward on Newark and Sherwood District Council for the Conservatives, has resigned with immediate effect.
Mr Clarke-Smith told The Advertiser it was time to hand over the reins to someone else.
In a resignation letter, he wrote: “It was a great honour for me to be chosen to represent the people of Boughton, Kirton and Walesby and I am proud of this council’s achievements, both in my ward and the rest of the district. I am also immensely proud of the local response to the covid-19 pandemic.
“In December 2019 I was also elected as a Member of Parliament and this has taken up a considerable amount of my time and meant both travelling to and working in London on a regular basis.
“The onset of the pandemic changed the way those of us working in local democracy went about our business and this council’s efforts to ensure local members could still partake in committees and council meetings virtually have been tremendous. I would like to say a huge thank you to your officers who have made this possible.
“As we move forwards and potentially return to in-person meetings, I understand that it will be difficult for me to devote the amount of time to my role as a district councillor that I would wish.
“Restrictions due to covid-19 meant by-elections were not possible during this period and I believe it would have been a dereliction of my duties to have stood down as a councillor during this period, potentially leaving the council short at important committee meetings and residents without a representative.
“With this in mind, I would be quite prepared to serve my whole term of office, as entitled.
“However, since it has been announced that May’s elections for both the county council and police and crime commissioner can go ahead, I feel now is the right time to allow somebody else the opportunity of having the honour to represent my ward on the council. This will also minimise any disruption and save the district council extra costs as elections will be taking place on those dates anyway.”