County council leader Kay Cutts astonishes Conservatives by announcing she won't stand for re-election as Minister tweets list of councils who can submit unitary authority proposals and Nottinghamshire isn't one of them
Kay Cutts, the leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, is to step down from the role at the next election.
Nor will Mrs Cutts stand to be elected again for her Radcliffe seat.
Mrs Cutts was pushing for a move to unitary authority, which would have seen the county council and the seven district and borough councils all abolished in favour of one new authority.
Her plans, which had already failed once, were highly contentious with the leaders of all other councils, and the leader of Nottingham City Council, objecting to Mrs Cutts' proposal and the timing of it, given the coronavirus pandemic.
Conservative Mrs Cutts made the announcement at a hustings today where she was making the case to be the candidate for the ward once more in the May 2021 elections.
It is said by people who attended that Mrs Cutts made her speech to Conservative members before saying she had changed her mind and wouldn't fight another election, leaving local members dumbfounded.
Mrs Cutts was first elected in May, 1989, and has been the leader since May, 2017.
In a letter to all Rushcliffe Conservative members, chairman and fellow county councillor Neil Clarke said: "Conservative Party members within the Radcliffe-on-Trent division held their selection meeting this morning to select their candidate to fight the next County Council Elections in May 2021.
"The two candidates standing were Cllr Kay Cutts MBE and Cllr Roger Upton.
"During the course of the meeting, Kay Cutts announced that she was withdrawing her candidacy and not seeking to be re-elected as a county councillor.
"First elected as a county councillor in May 1989, Kay has served the people of Radcliffe-on-Trent and Nottinghamshire tirelessly for over 31 years as a loyal Conservative county councillor.
"On behalf of Rushcliffe Conservative Association, I would like to thank her for her hard work, dedication and service and wish her well in her retirement."
Perhaps the answer may lie in a tweet from the Minister of State for Regional Growth and Local Government, Luke Hall MP that says: "We (the government) are inviting councils in Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Somerset to submit locally-led proposals for how they want to restructure local government in their area to establish unitary local government."
The Advertiser understands that Mrs Cutts' plan has not been chosen for the first tranche for unitary authority conversion because of the opposition that was mounted against it and the bad blood among Tories that was created.