Sacked deputy council leader calls for end to protest events as Deeside MP asks for ‘period of calm’ in Flintshire
The former deputy leader of Flintshire Council has thanked “family, friends and residents” for the support they have shown following his sacking last week.
Cllr Bernie Attridge was dismissed from his role as Deputy Leader and cabinet member for housing last week by Council Leader Aaron Shotton due an alleged breach of confidence.
Pressure mounted on the Council Leader following the decision to sack his number two, Cllr Shotton informed the council on Wednesday he was resigning as Leader.
Cllr Shotton, who is the subject of an ongoing Ombudsman’s investigation into his conduct, also said he would be leaving his role as cabinet member for finance.
In a statement, he said he had decided to resign his post to protect the health and wellbeing of him and his family.
Both County Councillors were absent from Connah’s Quay Town Council’s monthly meeting on Wednesday evening.
Around 20 placard-waving supporters of Cllr Attridge were present, they staged a noisy protest at the main entrance of the council offices.
Cllr Attridge issued a statement on Wednesday evening, he said: “I would like to thank my family, friends and residents who have been very supportive of me over this last week I am humbled by the support given to me.
I would be very grateful if no more protest events take place, as I want to use up all the energy I have left representing the people who put me in the job.”
Cllr Shotton’s resignation came ahead of the protest over Cllr Attridge’s sacking on Wednesday, in his statement, he said: “The continued negative media attention is simply not fair on the loyal and dedicated workforce who deliver the very services the people of our County rely on.”
I have chosen to announce my decision today (Wednesday) in advance of the community meeting (protest) that has been arranged for this evening on the very street where I live.
The increasing pressure is intolerable. In the interests of the mental health and wellbeing of myself and my family, I have today informed the council of my resignation.
Cllr Shotton who spent nearly seven years as Council Leader is the subject of an ongoing Ombudsman’s investigation into his conduct, also said he would be leaving his role as cabinet member for finance.
Following Cllr Shotton’s resignation, Alyn and Deeside MP Mark Tami said he was saddened by this news and asked for a period of calm, “because Aaron was an excellent leader of the council.’
“His ability to successfully run the council despite year on year cuts cannot be disputed.
Obviously, things had turned sour recently and he has decided this is the best outcome for his and his family’s health – which should always be his priority.
I would now ask for a period of calm so Flintshire can find a resolution.” Mr Tami said.
A special full Flintshire County Council meeting will take place next Tuesday to elect an interim Leader who will serve until the Annual General Meeting on 7 May 2019 when a Leader will be elected for the council year.
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