Council leader praised for his work following announcement he is to stand down
- Credit: IAN BURT
Community leaders have praised the work of the West Norfolk Council leader Nick Daubney, who has revealed he is to step down in May.
He has led the council for nine years, and went public with the news after announcing plans to fellow Conservative councillors.
North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham described him as 'an outstanding leader'.
He said: 'His approach to inward investment and business support has been inspirational, and he can be exceptionally proud of his many achievements. He will be a very hard act to follow, but his decision to make this announcement in good time so that his successor/successors can get their plans in place, is typical for his consideration for others.'
Deputy leader Alistair Beales described some of Mr Daubney's achievements while at the helm, saying: 'Nick successfully defeated the concept of a unitary council being introduced; he was instrumental during the incinerator campaign; and he is largely responsible for the council finances being in such great shape. He will be missed considerably.'
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West Norfolk mayor Colin Manning added: 'Considering we went through a difficult recession during Nick's time as leader, I personally think he has handled the council's finances exceptionally.'
John Collop, local Labour group leader, said: 'I have a lot of respect for Nick. We've clashed in the past due to our different political agendas, but I have to say that we will also miss him.'
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Ray Harding, chief executive of West Norfolk Council, said: 'Nick is very clear with his priorities, which helps enormously in delivering them.
'He was instrumental in securing Palm Paper's presence in King's Lynn, a massive inward investment which secured quality local jobs for the area.'
While Mr Daubney will remain a councillor in South Wootton, he said it 'felt right' to step down. He had also recently experienced some health problems.
He said: 'I was keen to lead the party during the last election and we achieved amazing results.
'The council is facing a huge amount of changes, particularly with the forthcoming devolution proposals and changes to council funding – and I felt it best to hand responsibility over to someone else.'
Mr Daubney has been a councillor in west Norfolk for 13 years and for four years he served as deputy leader under John Dobson.
As leader, he focused on the local economy by championing west Norfolk as an attractive area for businesses and to visit.
Abbie Panks, manager of the Vancouver Quarter centre in King's Lynn, said his championship for local businesses has been valued.
She said: 'Nick has been a fantastic ambassador and council leader for King's Lynn and West Norfolk, forward thinking and always open to new ideas.' Do you have a local politics story? Email email@example.com