Suffolk: Deputy leader to step down in May

Suffolk County Council Cabinet and Chief Officers; Jane Storey deputy leader; PICTURE CONTRIBUTED; E

Suffolk County Council Cabinet and Chief Officers; Jane Storey deputy leader; PICTURE CONTRIBUTED; EADT 18.4.08; EADT 12.3.09; EADT 28.5.10; EADT 4.10.10; EADT 23.11.10 - Credit: Archant

SUFFOLK’S deputy leader is to stand down from the county’s cabinet in May – whatever the results of this year’s local government election.

Jane Storey is will not be standing for re-election as deputy leader of the Conservative group at the county council in internal elections next month.

However she is standing for re-election to the authority in the Thedwastre North division in May. If re-elected she will sit on the backbenches.

Mrs Storey has been responsible for finances on the county’s cabinet ever since the Conservatives regained power at Endeavour House in 2005.

She has been deputy leader of the council since 2007.

She said her decision not to seek re-election as deputy group leader was for personal and family reasons – she has recently moved house and is hoping to build an eco-house in Woolpit.

She is also hoping to start a new business which will take a great deal of her time.

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Mrs Storey said the council was likely to change in May’s elections, and even assuming the Conservatives do retain control there should be a new look to the cabinet.

She said: “I believe that the council will have a lot of new faces in May and that (leader) Mark Bee should have the opportunity to make some changes – this gives him some ‘wriggle-room’. I still remain fully supportive of him and his policies.”

Mr Bee said: “Jane has been an absolute rock during some challenging times for the county council. I would like to thank her for all her hard work, support and good humour during the time that I’ve been leader. It’s been a pleasure to work with her and I wish her all the best for the future.”

She was interim leader of the council for two months in the spring of 2011, following the resignation of Jeremy Pembroke, and began the process which ultimately led to the departure of former council chief executive Andrea Hill.

Mrs Storey added: “I feel that the time is now right for me to change direction – personally and professionally. I have enjoyed the senior Cabinet role but it is time for a change.”