Councillor Chas Fellows, Leader of Stroud District Council, has stepped down as leader. He gave the scoop to the SNJ who put it on their frontpage.
Photo: John Marjoram talking to Chaz at recent elections
Chas has held the office for five years, and is the longest serving leader at the council - he will continue to represent the Chalford constituency as a district councillor and is also a county councillor - indeed he has just been appointed as chair of the county council's Environment Scrutiny Committee - this will hopefully be a good move - he has done lots to drive the environment agenda forward in Stroud District - although from a Green perspective this has not been nearly enough! He has certainly worked hard for the District and also holds the respect of opposition groups.
Here's what he told the press: "This is something I have been mulling over for a while, and a decision I have not taken lightly. I initially intended to step down in May this year but a number of my colleagues convinced me to stay on to help deliver some efficiency improvements and changes. I also wanted to help ensure that the problems with our housing service were addressed so that it was left on a strong footing before I stepped down. Now it's time for a new chapter in my life. It's been an enjoyable and challenging experience, and a privilege to represent the whole district. It sounds a little clich, but at the age of 64, I want to spend more quality time with my family, and free up time for gardening on my allotment. I've only just unearthed my passion for gardening and am thoroughly enjoying it! Relinquishing my leader role will also allow me to focus more on my Chalford constituents, who I have been fortunate enough to represent since May 1996."
Councillor Fellows will step down as leader at the next full meeting of Stroud District Council on 12th November, when a new leader will also be elected. The bets are on as to who will be the new leader - Francis Roden, the current Housing portfolio holder in the Cabinet is looking to be one of the most likely candidates. It will be interesting to see how much a change of leadership leads to changes in the way Council works....