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County council leader to stand down in May
12:25pm Thursday 3rd January 2013 in News
THE leader of Essex County Council has announced he will not be standing for re-election.
Peter Martin, 68, has led the authority for three years and will step down following elections on May 2 this year.
He took over the reins at the county council in February 2010 when disgraced peer Lord Hanningfield stood down over the expenses scandal.
The Conservative, who was awarded an MBE in last year’s New Year’s Honours, has been a county councillor for 24 years after being first elected on May 4 1989 for the Springfield ward.
Mr Martin, who now represents the Chelmer ward, said he took the decision to allow him to spend more time with family and doing hobbies.
Mr Martin said: “I am fully committed to all the policies of the county council and I feel the council is in good shape to face the challenges that lie ahead over the next few years.
“I will reach the age of 69 next year. This seems a good time for me to pursue other interests including spending more time with my wife, children and grandchildren.”
He went on to say his time at the council has been “wonderful” but after putting a lot of thought into it believed it was the right time to step aside.
Mr Martin said: “It is time for someone else to take over and I am coming up to a stage in my life where I want to spend more time with my family.
“I am still interested in contributing to politics at some level but in a more part-time role than the full-time job it is at the moment.”
He added he hopes to spend more time playing bridge and golf.