Suffolk: Colin Noble sacked from cabinet after challenging Mark Bee’s leadership

Colin Noble has been sacked from Suffolk County Council's cabinet. Colin Noble has been sacked from Suffolk County Council's cabinet.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014
11:50 AM

Leadership challenger Colin Noble has been sacked from Suffolk County Council’s cabinet after failing to unseat Mark Bee in last week’s election.

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He returned to the backbenches after an hour-long meeting at Endeavour House in Ipswich, but said it was clear in the first minute of the meeting that he would not be staying in the cabinet.

After the meeting he launched a broadside on the leadership of the county council – claiming that policy was made by the cabinet and senior council officers who then passed it to backbenchers to “rubber-stamp” decisions.

However his concerns were dismissed by Mr Bee, who said: “If he was so concerned about that, why didn’t he bring up those worries in cabinet?”

Mr Noble was cabinet member for finance until yesterday. He said: “I was sacked from the cabinet. As I said to my supporters before the vote, it was my intention to offer Mark a place in my cabinet had I won.”

He and his supporters had become concerned the way county council policy was developed.

He said: “We believe that the members of the council should debate policy and come up with proposals that are taken up by the cabinet and then implemented by the senior officers.

“At present we feel it is developed by the cabinet and senior officers, and then given to the backbenchers for them to approve.

“I believe it is best when policy is robustly debated before being adopted and taken forward to be implemented.”

Mr Noble also felt there had not been enough discussion about deep savings that would be needed over the next four years.

He said: “We are going to need to have a really important conversation with people over the next four years as we fulfil our pledge to freeze council tax bills.”

Mr Bee said Mr Noble had never brought up concerns about policy formulation within the cabinet.

The council leader said he had ensured backbenchers had a stronger role after being elected leader in 2011.

He added: “Before 2011 when I was a backbencher and Colin Noble was the main cheerleader for the New Strategic Direction there was no discussion about it with us – we were just told what was happening.

“There are many more opportunities for backbenchers to have a say on policy now – and there will be more changes to give them more involvement coming forward.”

He also rejected claims that the cuts had not been deep enough: “Everyone must be aware that we have to find £156 million of savings in the next four years. It was Colin Noble’s job to come up to develop a way of meeting those savings.”

Mr Bee has sent to all members of the Conservative group telling them of Mr Noble’s departure and thanking him for his contribution to the administration.

He is still looking at the political structure of the administration, and details of Mr Bee’s new cabinet are expected to be revealed after Easter.

12 comments

  • You can't trust Colin Noble anyway, he owns a company called Noble Properties & owes the company I work for thousands of pounds. He never paid any bills and 6 years on he does not reply to any correspondence, a man you can trust!? I think not!

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    Craig Stammers

    Friday, April 18, 2014

  • the cabinet system is undermining councils and will lead to bad decision making, as fenscape mentioned, NCC has been wrecked by cabinet mistakes to the tune of 35 million. Unless the public scrutinises Suffolk CC, nobody will do it, especially not the cllrs.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

  • Suffolk would do well to learn from the mistakes of their chums over in Norfolk where the Tories got a little ahead of themselves and subsequently found themselves in the political wilderness a short time later. One lesson in particular is that those in the ruling cabinet aren't there forever - what goes around comes around.

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    Fenscape

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

  • good call amsterdam81 . I could do the job at a lot less cost to the public.

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    themanintheknow

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

  • All of which serves to remind everybody how totally anti-democratic the Suffolk CC cabinet system is. Rather than all elected representatives having a say in what happens, all the decisions are made by a self-selected cabal of political apparatchiks. With Ipswich badly under-represented in that cabal (which is why decisions about our roads are made by a councillor who lives in and represents Felixstowe).

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    beerlover

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

  • It sounds like its time for Colin Noble to leave, I haven't seen him do anything any good. No body needs people like him

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    Sweet cheeks

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

  • As usual more about the individuels and thier internal spats and nothing about the real issues, which these individuels should be tackling. Notice that Mr Mcgregor has now gone back in his box, after being on the radio,not even being able to answer one straight forward question.

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    Doesitmatter?

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

  • Lets have some positive news for a change. Who gives a stuff about someone losing their job, its happening all the time these days. Stop wasting money on rubbish the public do not want or need and start spending money on things the TAXPAYERS want for a change. Suffolk Council is now a mini government with backbenchers ? and cabinet members ? and they all contribute to thousands of pounds wasted every week in Suffolk. Too many people earning good money for doing very little.

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    chantry

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

  • Isn't it that sort of behaviour that we criticise Mr Putin for, only having people who agree with him in government?

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    Malcolm Bell

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

  • What was mark bee frightened of ? Loosing his big fat monthly pay or someone who wanted to sort the cabinet out.

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    pandy

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

  • What a shower this lot really are, like 9 year olds in a playground. "He started it" "no, he did". Still, at least it keeps them from making more plans to make travelling in Ipswich impossible. I see another of their lunatic plans begins today, why on Earth do we need traffic lights at Barrack Corner?

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Esco Fiasco

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

  • Time to sack them all and start again.

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    amsterdam81

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

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