Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 11°C

Search

Babergh leader quits as council debates sacking her over merger plans

PUBLISHED: 20:13 19 December 2017 | UPDATED: 20:22 19 December 2017

Jennie Jenkins stood down as Babergh leader. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Jennie Jenkins stood down as Babergh leader. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

The embattled leader of Babergh council has stepped down from the role – just minutes before the start of a debate calling for her to be sacked.

Conservative Jennie Jenkins stepped down before the authority debated a call for her to be sacked as an element of a three-part motion which also called on the council to stop spending any money on the consultation over the proposed merger with Mid Suffolk Council.

Her supporters had feared that there could be enough Conservatives worried about the proposal to join the opposition and vote her out of office.

At the start of the meeting she said: “It is with great regret and huge sadness that I have decided to stand down as Leader of the Council with immediate effect.”

She said she hoped it would be possible to have a smooth handover – she had been planning to stand down in the New Year in any event.

“It is extremely disappointing that some Councillors have felt the need to bring the third paragraph of the Motion on the agenda; especially as I have made no secret of my intention to stand down as Leader of the Council in a couple of months.”

Mr Bavington said he had known Mrs Jenkins for many years – but it was time for her to stand down now. He said her cabinet had not been listening to concerns of backbenchers and the public about the merger proposals.

Babergh shares an administration with Mid Suffolk Council – but proposals for a political merger were rejected by voters in the district in 2011.

Recently the merger proposal has been revived – but without a guarantee that another referendum would take place. A public consultation process is currently underway.

Councillors were also angered about Babergh’s move away from its former headquarters in Hadleigh to its new offices at the county council’s headquarters in Ipswich where the joint administration is based.

There was also frustration among opposition councillors when legal officers and council chairman Peter Burgoyne said a new council leader could not be chosen before the next full meeting – in the meantime deputy leader Jan Osborne will be acting leader. The next meeting is scheduled for February – but an extraordinary meeting could be held next month.

A person has died after a serious crash on the A12 near Copdock this afternoon.

The sunshine, blue skies and record breaking temperatures of recent days are set to come to a thundery end - with heavy rain and lightning expected across the region this weekend.

Police investigating a series of power tool thefts from vans and properties in Suffolk have recovered more than 120 items.

A full business case for a northern bypass will be tabled by the end of the year it has been revealed, as transport secretary Chris Grayling has said that some improvements in the area will “have to happen”.

An Ipswich man who was in a “blind rage” when he deliberately drove his car into a neighbour has been jailed for two years and seven months.

The jury in the trial of a 68-year-old former Ipswich man accused of sexually assaulting a schoolboy in his mobile home more than a decade ago is expected to retire to consider its verdicts on Monday.

Volunteer lifesavers rescued a stranded yacht off the Essex coast this afternoon.

The East of England Ambulance Service answered 3,200 calls per day over the winter period, new data shows.

In this week’s iWitness challenge we asked our photographers to show us what ‘local’ meant to them by capturing the parts of Suffolk they see every day.

A broken down train has prevented the minister responsible for the country’s transport system from visiting the Great Yarmouth area today.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24