Key Suffolk Conservative to step down from council deputy leadership role
An influential Suffolk Conservative is to step down from her councillor roles in 2021 – including her key positions as deputy leader and education cabinet member at the county council.
Mary Evans this week confirmed she will not be seeking re-election in the county council polls in May, and also planned to stand down from her West Suffolk Council role at the same time.
Mrs Evans, who has a background in education journalism, currently serves as deputy leader and cabinet member for education at the county council, and has previously served key positions as highways cabinet member and chairing the scrutiny committee.
She said the time was right for her to step back from council duties.
“I am an all or nothing person so it’s a case of wanting to recalibrate and see what I do with my life,” she said.
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“I would like to get back to doing some writing, getting back to doing some study, and I would like to be involved in community volunteering because that is what got me into politics.
“I felt in the summer if I do another four years [from next year] I would only be three years younger than the age my mother was when she died.”
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She added that she also plans to spend more time with her expanded family, which has enjoyed two new additions this year.
Mrs Evans was first elected to Suffolk County Council in 2013 for Clare, and won the by-election for the Whepstead and Wickhambrook ward at West Suffolk Council in 2017.
She was re-elected in West Suffolk in 2019’s local elections, but will step down from there to allow a by-election to take place on the same day as the county council and police and crime commissioner elections.
Among some of the key policies she has been involved in are the start of rolling out the mammoth £45million investment in special educational needs places countywide, and overseeing the revamp of road maintenance which saw thousands of additional potholes addressed.
She cited the ongoing work to improve early years and the naming competition for the council’s fleet of gritters – Gritta Garbo being Clare’s familiar machine – among other highlights.
County council leader Matthew Hicks said: “Over the last eight years Mary has done an outstanding job as a councillor and held positions of great responsibility.
“On a personal note, I would like to thank her for being an outstanding deputy leader and thank her for her commitment to the role.
“We wish Mary well for whatever she turns her hand to in the future.”