Leader of Derbyshire’s Labour group, Anne Western set to step down

The leader of Derbyshire’s Labour group is stepping down and will also resign as a county councillor after 23 years, at next year’s election.

Monday, 13th January 2020, 1:21 pm
Updated Monday, 13th January 2020, 5:39 pm
Councillor Anne Western, leader of the Labour group at Derbyshire County Council.

Cllr Anne Western, 64, who represents the Barlborough and Clowne division on Derbyshire County Council, has previously served as the authority’s leader and deputy leader.

She said that this was not a “knee-jerk” decision as a result of the General Election outcome but that she had always planned for this to be her final term in office.

Cllr Western, a former accountant, said: “Serving as a councillor requires a lot of physical and mental energy and I would be 70 by the end of the next term.

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“I want the chance to step back to reflect and relax by focusing on being a councillor locally.

“I am going to be with my family more, like with my granddaughter and my parents, who are now in their 80s.

“They have always supported me and I want to give that time back.

“I see too many people going on longer than they should do as councillors and I don’t want to do that – when I do something I do it 100 per cent. I am also trying to get more of a work-life balance.

“I’m stepping down now to give the chance for someone else, someone younger, to prepare themselves for the next election.”

When asked what her greatest achievements were during her time in office and the largest changes she has witnessed while on the authority, Cllr Western said: “Achievements were the excellent children’s services we had up to 2010, since when the funding cuts have badly eroded things like the youth service and SEND (special education needs) provision.

“The excellent social care services we had, such as the DCC home help service, which again has been cut back severely.

“Locally, the investment in the Clowne Greenway which is opening up a disused railway line for walking and cycling.

She served as leader of the authority from 2013 to 2017 and as deputy leader from 2003 to 2009.

Cllr Western has been leader of the Derbyshire Labour group for 11 years.