‘It’s been a joy’ - Blur drummer to stand down as councillor at next election
PUBLISHED: 06:30 14 October 2020
Britpop icon and Labour councillor Dave Rowntree has announced he will not be seeking re-election next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Rowntree, the drummer of rock band Blur, has served the University ward on Norfolk County Council since May 2017, when he was elected to succeed fellow Labour representative Bert Bremner.
The musician, who last performed with the Britpop pioneers in 2015, had been due to stand for re-election in May 2021.
However, in a lengthy statement on his website he has announced he has taken the decision to stand down, stating that the coroanvirus pandemic had left him unable to provide his community with the level of service he would have liked.
He wrote: “After much soul-searching, I have decided not to stand for re-election to the county council next year.
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“The pandemic has made life very difficult for everyone. Like many people, I live with a vulnerable family member so I have had to spend much of the year shielding.
“Frankly, I’ve been unable to give the residents in my division the hands-on care they deserve and unfortunately I don’t think it’s likely to change any time soon.”
In his statement, Mr Rowntree was highly critical of the way the Conservative government had handled the pandemic thus far, which he said had influenced his decision to stand down.
He added: “Many countries whose governments have followed the science and tackled the epidemic head-on aren’t in this position. I could complain that it’s unfair, but I think my residents could also complain about unfairness if I stood again, not knowing when I’d be able to get back out there, knocking on doors, looking for problems to solve.
“It has been a joy and a privilege to represent the residents in University Ward, and I’ve made friendships here that will last a lifetime. I hope that when this is all over, I can get back involved somehow.”
Mr Rowntree’s 2017 election was not the first time he ventured into Norfolk politics. In 2011 he was one of four candidates vying for Labour’s nomination in the Norwich South constituency, eventually losing out to current MP Clive Lewis.
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