Suffolk County Council Tories at war after Lisa Chambers quits

Former deputy leader Lisa Chambers.

Former deputy leader Lisa Chambers. - Credit: Su Anderson

Open warfare has broken out at Suffolk County Council following the shock resignation of education spokeswoman Lisa Chambers.

Within hours former leader Mark Bee issued a tweet saying: “I’m sorry to see Lisa resign. It illustrates yet again that Colin Noble is not fit to lead SCC or hold Cons(ervative) Group together.”

Mrs Chambers resigned from the council after Mr Noble removed her from her position as county council representative and chair of the steering group of the Newmarket Vision – which is in her home division.

She lives in Red Lodge and expressed her unhappiness about the decision in a letter she sent to fellow councillors marking her departure.

She said: “I am sure this will come as a shock to many of you – and for that I am sorry. Over the recent months I have felt that it has become impossible for me to continue as a member of Cabinet and within the Conservative Group.

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“There are many things happening at a local and national level that I do not agree with, the final straw came for me when the Leader decided to remove my local Newmarket work from me – a local councillor without their local role was a step too far for me, this role was removed without consultation or explanation.”

She insisted, however, that her decision to resign had nothing to do with the council’s education policy which has come under fire over recent years.

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And she said she was confident the changes that had been introduced would show improving results in future years.

In the wake of the resignation, Mr Noble issued a statement saying: “I would like to thank Lisa for her hard work and dedication in her role as Cabinet Member for Education and Skills.

“I am sure that Lisa would agree with me that the most important thing is the education and welfare of children across Suffolk. The work we are doing through Raising the Bar to improve educational attainment will continue at pace.

“This work is already delivering across the system and I am confident that improvement will continue. Our commitment to 100% of schools being good or outstanding remains a priority.

“In the interim, Gordon Jones (cabinet member for Children’s Services) has agreed to pick up the additional responsibilities for Education and Skills.

“I wish Lisa well for the future.”

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