Commerce chief defends record

THE chairman of Southwold's chamber of trade and commerce resigned by mobile phone text message yesterday – saying some people did not like his management style.

THE chairman of Southwold's chamber of trade and commerce resigned by mobile phone text message yesterday – saying some people did not like his management style.

Stephan Cornell, of Sutherland House Restaurant and Hotel, High Street, also cited business and personal reasons for giving up the high-profile position in the organisation, which represents 110 businesses in the upmarket seaside resort and its surrounding area.

The message, sent to the chamber's president, Sue Allen, said: "Due to business and personal commitments and lack of confidence expressed, please accept my immediate resignation as chairman."

Fifty-six-year-old Mr Cornell, who has served as chairman for two-and-a-half years, said: "Some people didn't like my style of management. I'm not having a go at them but my answer to them is 'Look at the profile, look at the money in the bank and tell me if I haven't done a good job'.


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"I'm really proud to have raised the profile of the chamber within the town and I feel I have attacked issues that have concerned the people of Southwold – such as the harbour and caravan site – and given guidance to new traders that have come into Southwold.

"But more and more of my time has been taken up with chamber business and I feel my full attention has not been on my business."

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On sending his resignation by text, he said: "I just wanted my president to be aware as early as possible as there's so much paperwork involved. I thought she should know once I had made my decision."

Ms Allen, who received the message yesterday morning, said: "I would like to thank him very much and I am very sorry to see him go.

"Stephan was in his third year as chairman and he always said it would be his last but I am sorry that he has gone before the end of the year."

Dudley Clarke, spokesman for the chamber, said the situation would be discussed at a committee meeting on Monday before an extraordinary general meeting would be held to vote in a temporary chairman until the chamber's annual general meeting in February.

Mr Cornell added: "We've got a busy period coming up and it will be a great opportunity for someone else to step in and take it over so by next February, when a new chairman is elected, they will have had some experience."

The grandfather-of-one says he will continue to campaign on issues important to the town and is not backing out of the public eye completely – he has been appointed the town's Rotary Club president next year and will remain on the chamber's committee.

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