Monday, 5 February 2018

Stepping down...

Didn't want the handful of loyal readers here (some of who might be interested in what I do in the real world) to miss out on the news!

I told Bradford's Conservative Group this evening that I will be stepping down as Group Leader after this May's elections.

Here's the rest of the statement:
Some while ago I decided that I wouldn’t be standing for re-election when my current term as councillor finishes in 2019. Because of the way in which the Party’s approval and selection process works these days, I would have needed to tell the Shipley Association of this intention some time in June or July this year. I think it would be wrong to stay on as leader running up to an election in which I’m not standing.

In May 2019 I will have been a councillor for 24 years and, for me, that’s long enough. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it but rather that it’s probably best to stop while that’s the case. I also think that a new leader would inject some extra drive. I wrote a little list of things that needed to happen for the Group and the Party in Bradford and, having looked at the list, concluded by saying to myself: “Simon, this stuff is important but do you really want to do these things?”

Making the decision now gives you all the chance to have a discussion - a thoughtful a civilised discussion, I hope - about who should lead the Group.

Can I thank you all for your support over the time I’ve been leader. I know it’s hard to point at successes when we’re in opposition but I think we’ve kept the Conservative flag flying when Labour could have sidelined us. We’ve prevented the Labour Party getting its way over devolution and imposing a Labour elected mayor based in Leeds. We’ve seen the national government recognise Bradford - it was the first northern city mentioned by the Prime Minister recently - and helped get investment in infrastructure, education and housing. We perhaps make too little of the millions invested by a Conservative government in the city. Above all the electorate still believe that the prospect of a Conservative-led city is a real one and that is a credit to the efforts of all of you in the Group. 


Don said...

Good luck with whatever's next.

Discovery of your blog was part of my move from thinking Corbyn to be a right winger to realising the world was not the way I wanted it to be.

Simon Cooke said...

Accidently deleted a couple of comments - here they are:


I trust you'll publish your little list? It would be interesting and informative. And I trust you'll keep blogging - or would that be "outside the tent pissing in"?

Oleuanna Twigg

Start writing that book....keep that mind alive and us continually captivated.

Anonymous said...

Losing such a rare beast as a thoughtful and generally non-dogmatic councillor will be a loss to the city of Bradford - you may not have enjoyed executive power but your influence will have been there nevertheless.
Good luck with whatever comes next: the city of Bradford needs even more luck but probably won't get it.