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Suffolk: Health row threatens unity of county’s cabinet

PUBLISHED: 18:20 28 July 2014 | UPDATED: 18:21 28 July 2014

Dr Alan Murray.

Dr Alan Murray.

Paul Nixon Photography 07904296577

Suffolk County Council leader Mark Bee is reconsidering the way the authority deals with health issues after a clash with one of his key cabinet members.

Dr Alan Murray told Mr Bee he was resigning as cabinet member for adult and community services because of frustration over his role – and the way it operates alongside the health and wellbeing board which is chaired by senior councillor Joanna Spicer.

After Dr Murray’s dramatic “resignation” shortly before a meeting with MPs, Mr Bee visited him and persuaded him to stay on.

However there will now be a fresh look at the way the council deals with its health responsibilities – and we understand Dr Murray has made it clear he will not stay in the cabinet indefinitely if there are not changes in the way the health and wellbeing board operates.

He was making no comment on the situation, but officials and councillors have few meetings in August and it is felt this “quiet” month will give Mr Bee the opportunity to work on a solution.

Mr Bee said: “I am pleased to say that Dr Murray has withdrawn his resignation and is still our cabinet member for health and adult care.

“Alan has raised concerns regarding the alignment of responsibilities and accountabilities within public health and adult care.

“Having now had a chance to talk to Alan, I have been able to hear these concerns and have undertaken to give this whole matter serious thought in the days ahead.

“Alan is, and always has been, a real asset to the council and the cabinet, and I hope we can continue to harness his skills and passion for a long time to come.”

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