Breckland leader resigns
- Credit: IAN BURT
Breckland Council's departing leader has said he wants to give his successor the best chance possible of winning what he thinks will be a tough 2015 election.
Conservative group leader, William Nunn, stepped down on Monday after eight years in the role, saying he wanted to have more time to concentrate on his work and family life.
He also said he wanted to give the next leader of the council the best chance of winning as many seats as possible at the next election - with a tough UKIP challenge expected.
'It's going to be a hostile election in 2015 without doubt, especially with UKIP on the rise, and the leader needs to be very focused to run the campaign in a strong, coordinated fashion,' he said.
Mr Nunn said he had enjoyed his time as leader, having taken over from Cliff Jordan.
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He said Mr Jordan had given him some advice on his succession.
'Cliff said to me that if you want to be leader you will have no life.
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'it was partly said in jest but when you do the job it is very full on. I get 40 or 50 emails a day with a whole range of problems and it takes it out of you.
'There comes a point where anyone needs to give themselves some space and I need to do the things that I have been meaning to do for years,' he said.
Mr Nunn's tenure has seen him steer the council through attempts to correct a £3.5 million deficit and a merger with South Holland District Council.
He said he had tried to improve the council's commercial instincts during his time in charge. A deal to buy Barnham Broom - which has made the council almost £3.5 million in seven years - being a prime example, according to Mr Nunn.
While saying he would be taking the opportunity to do more travelling with his wife, Mr Nunn did not rule out standing as an MP in the future.
However, he also said he would be continuing as district representative for West Guiltcross for the foreseeable future, having already served 19 years as a councillor.
According to a council spokesman, Mr Nunn will most likely tender his resignation at the council's next meeting on September 5 with the Conservative then able to put forward a new leader at the next meeting on October 3.
An extraordinary meeting can be requested to put forward a new candidate.
It is unclear who will take over from Mr Nunn as leader, but he said he had 'a lot of confidence' in his deputy, Michael Wassell.