Early return home for ex-leader

Former Norfolk County Council leader Daniel Cox is set to return early from a year working in India after a wrangle over a working visa.

Mr Cox quit the county council hot seat last October to take up a post working for charity VSO along with his wife Katie.

But, writing on his blog, he said that the couple were looking to return home in May after running into difficulties trying to extend the initial visa for another six months because of rules around development workers earning $25,000.

'Katie and I have discussed what next and so, after a lot of thought, we've decided that we will be leaving in May,' Mr Cox said. 'Aside from the frustrations of the Indian bureaucracy, it is really disappointing to be leaving our placements half way through our expected term. Both our roles have been enjoyable, challenging and worthwhile – as well as being immensely fulfilling.

'We've had a great four months so far and learnt a lot about India and had many amazing experiences. And to have to leave in May isn't the way we would have wanted our experience to end. Of course, we are looking forward to seeing our friends and families,' he added. 'But we'll also be looking for a home as ours is rented out until November, and I'll be looking for a job!'

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Mr Cox often had to hold the line against more hawkish Tories, and even survived a coup attempt when he was de-selected from his Wymondham division before the county council elections in 2009 –forcing him to find a new seat in Humbleyard.

He was succeeded by his deputy Derrick Murphy, whose leadership has shown little sign of the kind of internal divisions and plotting which Mr Cox had to endure, despite implementing the first phase of a cuts plans aimed at bridging a �155m black hole, and pressure over plans to build an incinerator near King's Lynn. And with no county council elections due for another two years, and the district council elections taking place on Thursday, there is no obvious route back into local politics should Mr Cox be seeking a quick return to the council chamber.

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