Saturday, May 05, 2007

Changeover weekend

This morning's post contained both the first envelope from Copeland council addressed to me as Councillor Whiteside and what I presume will be the last one from St Albans council addressed the same way.

A little known fact is that councillors who do not stand for re-election or who are defeated do not formally step down until four days after the election. I presume this was written into the law so that councils can continue to operate, especially if there is a big change, during the period before newly-elected councillors can sign the necessary paperwork to be allowed to start work.

So technically my last day as a St Albans Councillor is Bank Holiday Monday and over this long weekend I am a councillor for two areas three hundred miles apart. But only technically.

I spoke on the phone to my successor as councillor for Sandridge and Jersey Farm, Frances Leonard, to congratulate her on her crushing victory over the Liberal Democrats, and we have agreed that I will pass over the remaining items of casework so she can take them up.

I am sure Frances will do an excellent job.

Two sets of thanks: first of all looking backwards.

I would like to thank all those who suported, helped or worked with me for 16 of the past 20 years as a St Albans City and District Councillor, especially the electors of Sandridge and Jersey Farm, successive officers of Jersey Farm Residents Association and officers and members of Sandridge Parish Council. Also officers of St Albans Council, particularly those for whom I generated large amounts of work, including the Development Control and Enforcement teams, the Planning Policy team, Committee Administrators and the Legal team. A special word for the Conservation and Design team - I know we often disagreed but I respect your dedication, hard work and professionalism. Last but not least, colleagues in Hitchin and Harpenden Conservative Association, St Albans Conservative Association, and the Conservative Group on St Albans City and District Council.

And looking forward ...

I am writing my thank you letters this weekend to all those who helped in my campaign in Bransty and the other parts of the Copeland campaign where I had an input. But I would like to repeat here the thanks I expressed in my last post to all those who voted for me and for my Conservative colleagues in Bransty; and I would like to thank all those who helped in any way in the Conservative effort in the new Copeland constituency.

My wife Brigid has asked me to thank all those who voted for her in Harbour ward, where whe came within 145 votes of being elected (which for a Conservative candidate in that ward is a tremendous performance.)

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