For­mer leader Jones to quit as coun­cil­lor

Macclesfield Express - - TOWN CENTRE FACELIFT -

FOR­MER Cheshire East leader Michael Jones has re­vealed he is to quit as a coun­cil­lor once the po­lice probe into the award­ing of coun­cil con­tracts has ended.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion, which be­gan in Jan­uary, cen­tres around the award­ing of coun­cil con­tracts worth more than £150,000 to Core Fit, which is run by Coun Jones’ physio, Amanda Mor­ris.

Coun Jones stren­u­ously de­nies any wrong­do­ing.

He stood down as coun­cil leader at the end of Fe­bru­ary cit­ing in­fight­ing in the Con­ser­va­tive party as the rea­son.

On Tues­day Coun Jones, who rep­re­sents Bun­bury, said: “I will re­sign once the [po­lice] in­ves­ti­ga­tion is over and call a by-elec­tion once I have spo­ken to my party and the new leader.”

He said Coun Rachel Bai­ley had his full sup­port as leader ‘and is un­doubt­edly the right per­son to lead the coun­cil’.

“Rachel is fully aware of my de­ci­sion, as was the deputy leader [David Brown] in September 2015,” said Coun Jones. “Per­haps the fact I have kept to my de­ci­sion is the point that I am not a ca­reer politi­cian merely some­one who tried hard to de­liver for the res­i­dents across the bor­ough.”

And he said he al­ways in­tended to step down as leader af­ter May this year ‘as four years would have been enough’.

“In fact I made that po­si­tion known to sev­eral coun­cil mem­bers, along with the fact that I was not go­ing to at­tend the De­cem­ber coun­cil meet­ing, in September 2015,” he said.

Coun Jones said he be­came a coun­cil­lor to change Cheshire East Coun­cil, and ‘I think now I have achieved many great things in­clud­ing un­em­ploy­ment at a 35-year low and in­comes ris­ing fastest for the poor­est el­e­ments of so­ci­ety’.

“I am clear that I pri­ori­tised the res­i­dents and my col­leagues and as a busi­ness man I was tough on the se­nior man­age­ment of the coun­cil, but I be­lieve the res­i­dents de­serve ef­fi­ciency and of course low coun­cil tax,” he said.

Coun Jones said he will fo­cus on work­ing in the pri­vate sec­tor.

“I will con­tinue to de­fend vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren and I am hope­ful of play­ing an ac­tive role in mak­ing sure chil­dren have a bet­ter, safer and re­ward­ing fu­ture,” he said.

“I be­lieve once I am out of pol­i­tics shortly, I will de­velop pri­vate sec­tor fi­nan­cial ini­tia­tives to fund work with young chil­dren and I in­tend to sup­port a va­ri­ety of in­no­va­tions to make their lives bet­ter.”

●● Coun­cil­lor Michael Jones is to step down

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.