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Suffolk: Health row threatens unity of county’s cabinet

18:20 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Mr Bee said: “I am pleased to say that Dr Murray has withdrawn his resignation and is still our cabinet member for health and adult care.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.”


  • SCC do not have a good record serving the interests of Suffolk people. The roads need repair, hedges and verges need cutting and education has been neglected for a long time. Our rates have not reduced in spite of years of cuts. Time for some radical changes.

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    Tuesday, July 29, 2014

  • Interesting comments about Ipswich, but rural residents may also feel ignored by the domineering party machine, I know I do.

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    Monday, July 28, 2014

  • What Suffolk needs is more Conservative County Councillors representing Ipswich. With it being the County Town of Suffolk, it's a complete shame that the electors of Ipswich toppled Cllr Judy Terry last year who had done so much to promote growth in Suffolk, and Cllr Carol Debman who carried out such hard work locally. In the meantime (before 2017), SCC needs to work closely with Councillors on IBC.

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    Jim P

    Monday, July 28, 2014

  • The loss of Cllr Murray from the cabinet would have been a devastating blow to the Conservatives in Suffolk. The Conservatives have only a single county councillor operating out of (but not living in) in "Olde Ipswiche" and have become political interlopers. They have done little to woo urban Ipswich voters and have shown little regard for Ipswich's status as a city sized town and regional centre. If the Conservatives are serious about winning this key marginal at the next general election then Suffolk's rural conservatives should think hard about the power they hold and how they can share more of it with the third of a million (45% of all Suffolk) people who rely on Suffolk's county town.

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    Mark Ling

    Monday, July 28, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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