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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

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Ex-mayor stands down over cuts

A LONG-standing Copeland councillor handed in his resignation yesterday rather than be party to today’s decision-making on swingeing budget cuts.

twnorm

Norman Williams, 67, Labour councillor for Hensingham, has had a 49-year association with local government, the last 20 as a Copeland councillor.

He said yesterday: “I resigned this morning. I would have liked to make it to my 50 years, but I felt I could not sit in on that meeting and be a party to decisions that are destroying local government, however good or bad it is and that are going to affect this area dramatically, for the worse.

“I have tried to serve people to the best of my ability, never one to seek glory and I don’t recall any failures, but I felt I could not take part in this. I don’t want to be a perpetrator of these cuts.’’

At today’s council meeting closures of toilets, tourist information, threats to leisure facilities and a halt to some recycling are among a raft of measures expected to be rubber stamped.

Mr Williams, a great nephew of Lord Adams, and born at Keir Hardie Avenue, Cleator Moor, started his career as a civil engineer with the former Ennerdale Rural District Council back in 1963, thereafter working with councils at Hartlepool, Carlisle Borders UDC, Copeland Borough Council and County Highways.

He now hopes that ultimately he will not be replaced, his seat left vacant and that the three seats for Hensingham will become two.

“We don’t need 51 councillors,’’ he said.

  • See The Whitehaven News' website tomorrow (Friday) for full coverage of the budget meeting.
Have your say

WE should all give great thanks to Mr Williams for all his years of public service and what a sad day that his conscience no longer allows him to be part of the Democracy he has so clearly cherished and valued being part of for nearly 50 years. I am sure that Copeland has lost one of it's greatest assets.

We hear a lot of pontificating about what the Council should and should not do, in the weekly press and in every day life. Many people have many opinions, but few people are ready to take a more active role in public life. It takes little effort to have an opinion, but a lot of effort, hard work and dedication to put one's head above the parapet and be prepared to be judged in the eye of the public as part of a Democratic council and make principles a reality.

I salute Mr Williams, I doubt we will see (no matter what we think of his opinions) the dedication to his office that we have.

(I don't know Mr Williams - but I can imagine he has taken the decision to bow out nobly after a lot of though.)

I hope it isn't the last we have heard of him.

Posted by confusedaboutgeorgian on 22 February 2013 at 02:05

I totally respect Mr Williams. A very dignified reason to resign and an example to many. I am shocked that a council that is tiny in comparison to others in the UK has 51 councillors. Let's look at this in perspective - a city the size of Preston in Lancashire only has 57. 51 Copeland does not need 51 Councillors, this is madness!

Posted by CouncilWatch on 21 February 2013 at 20:57

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