Former council leader resigns from North unitary

Cllr Steven North says he needs a break from the top level of local politics

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By Sarah Ward

An executive member of North Northamptonshire Council has stood down.

Cllr Steven North has handed in his resignation to Leader Jason Smithers, saying he needs a break from the top level of local politics.

The former leader of East Northants Council, who has only been in post since May, said he leaves the job with a heavy heart.

He will be replaced by Cllr David Brackenbury, who has been undertaking the role of chief whip of the group.

In his resignation letter Cllr North said:

“I have come to realise, and especially in August when we’ve had two executives, the last one 18 items and over 500 pages, that I need a break from daily being at the top level of local politics.

“Additional to that has been the local government reform of Northamptonshire, so I was on various bodies to create the blueprint and help make NNC happen. Of course this wasn’t helped with all the Covid restrictions which made things even harder.

“Therefore although it’s an odd time to step down, it’s also a good time, as things are settling down and portfolios are being fine tuned.”

Cllr Smithers told councillors in an email yesterday of Cllr North’s resignation and said he had received it ‘with deep regret’. He said he is confident his new appointment Cllr Brackenbury, who represents Thrapston, is a good fit for the role. Cllr Brackenbury’s wife Wendy is the chair of the council’s scrutiny committee.

Cllr North, who also works part time for Wellingborough MP Peter Bone, was leader of East Northants Council for several years and was in charge at the time a legal action was launched by wronged publican Geoff Monks.

The legal action, which we exclusively revealed last month, is set to cost the council millions and could make its way to a high court trial if the authority fails to reach a settlement with the landlord.

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