Green leader at Suffolk County Council stepping down from May

Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw, Greens, said the council needed to use its influence to help others drive

Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw, leader of the Liberal Democrat Green and Independent group at Suffolk County Council is not standing for re-election in May 2021 - Credit: Archant

The leader of Suffolk County Council's Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent group has announced that she is not seeking re-election in the polls in May.

Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw, Green councillor for Beccles, has been the leader of the county council's Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent group for the past year following a year as deputy leader.

However, she has confirmed she is not standing in the May 2021 elections for the county council. She will remain in her district councillor role for Beccles at East Suffolk Council.

Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw said a target and budget for carbon reduction was as significant as Suffol

Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw has been a passionate speaker in the Suffolk County Council chamber since 2017 - Credit: Archant

"Being elected to the county council four years ago was one of the most exciting moments of my life," she said. 

"I have loved the role and have put my heart and soul into it, but being a ‘twin hatter’ is incredibly demanding. I am looking forward to having one role and re-claiming a bit of time for my family.

"Like many people I have been home-schooling and juggling work during the pandemic and this balancing act has made me reflect on my priorities.

"I am an all or nothing person so It’s important to me to only commit to things if I can do them 100%."

In 2017, Mrs Brambley-Crawshaw was the first Green councillor from the East Suffolk area elected to the county council, and has been a key campaigner on a host of issues in the chamber.

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Among them include school transport provision, highways issues and the need for more special educational needs places.

Green Party councillor Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw outside of Suffolk County Council Pictures Neil Per

Climate issues at Suffolk County Council have been a key focus of Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw since 2017 - Credit: Archant

However, one of her key campaigns had been around the authority declaring a climate emergency and pledging to become carbon neutral by 2030 - a motion she tabled in March 2019 with group colleague Robert Lindsay. That pledge will inform environment policy going forward at the authority.

Mrs Brambley-Crawshaw, a senior party figure in Suffolk who also stood for the Waveney seat at the 2017 and 2019 general elections for the Greens, confirmed that East Suffolk Council Green, Liberal Democrat and Independent group leader Caroline Topping and Peggy McGregor will stand for the seat in the county elections in May.

"I am so delighted that Caroline Topping and Peggy McGregor are standing together for the county elections in May," she said.

"They are energetic, hardworking and community minded and it is so exciting to think that we might be able to grow our team like this."

Another member of the group, David Wood, has confirmed he will not be standing in the county elections.

Cllr David Wood, chairman of the AONB partnership Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Liberal Democrat councillor for the Peninsula division at Suffolk County Council for 21 years, David Wood, is to stand down at the county elections in May 2021 - Credit: Archant

Mr Wood has served for 21 years with the authority for the Peninsula division as a Liberal Democrat, and has also spent time as a member of Babergh district and Tattingstone parish councils.

Mr Wood said his decision was in keeping with a pledge to his late wife Rita that the 2017 polls would be the last he contested.

His work has included being a key advocate of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the impacts of the potential Sizewell C project, and served as the Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent group's first leader in 2017 for a year.