Mystery over county chief's resignation

MYSTERY today surrounds the sudden resignation of an up-and-coming councillor - just a few months after he was marked out as a political leader of the future.

MYSTERY today surrounds the sudden resignation of an up-and-coming councillor - just a few months after he was marked out as a political leader of the future.

Alastair Liddell was only elected to Suffolk County Council in May last year after holding the Stowmarket North and Stowupland division in a by-election for the Conservatives.

At 23 he was the youngest county councillor and he was thought to have a sparkling future at Endeavour House.

In September last year he went on a three-day “Fast Track” course operated by the government's Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) at Warwick University - a course which cost council taxpayers £1,500.

But now he has stepped down from the council because of personal reasons.

The Evening Star understands he has a young family and feels he does not have enough time to spend with them.

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A spokeswoman for the council said it was understood Mr Liddell's personal circumstances had changed since he had completed the course.

It is understood there was a degree of disappointment that a councillor who had only just been elected now felt unable to continue, but an acceptance that people often moved on from jobs after a short period of time.

Mr Liddell could not be contacted to comment on his resignation from the council today, but his sudden departure will be seen as an encouragement by Liberal Democrats.

They finished second in a six-way fight last May and are already hoping to better that performance when the next by-election is called.

The by-election is expected to be held during the spring - possibly in early May on the same day as local elections in many parts of the country, including Ipswich and London.