Lichfield District Council’s deputy leader explains why he’s stepping down

Councillor Matthew Ellis

Councillor Matthew Ellis

The deputy leader of Lichfield District Council has been explaining his decision to step down from the role after three years.

Councillor Matthew Ellis announced his decision to step down earlier this week.

A new post with Staffordshire County Council has led to his decision to relinquish his position in the Lichfield ‘front bench’.

But Cllr Ellis has admitted he is looking forward to a new challenge. He told The Lichfield Blog:

“Since the June 4 elections I’ve enjoyed elation, satisfaction and excitement all tinged with a touch of sadness. The positives because of my landslide re-election, the success of Conservatives across Staffordshire and my appointment to the County Cabinet and the sadness because my leadership role with Lichfield must end very soon.

“I’ll miss it big time but will, at least for the moment, maintain responsibility for the Lichfield Garrick. Taking on Social Care and Health for Staffordshire, its £270million budget and 4,000 plus staff is just too big a job to keep my leadership role at Lichfield as well.

“My new role will be a tremendous challenge. Like the rest of the UK, Staffordshire’s population is getting older and the expectation of people to live a normal life at home, despite older age or disability, is increasing. In the next five years the number of people over 85 will go up by a fifth and in the next twenty years the numbers needing help or care of some sort will more than double. Ten days into my induction it’s mind blowing. So much to learn and so many decisions to make in the near future which will affect families and individuals every day of their lives.

“A new, and much bigger chapter, begins for me and I can’t wait to get on with it.”

But despite his obvious excitement with his new role, Cllr Ellis has admitted that he’ll be sorry to relinquish his frontline position at Lichfield District Council.

He explained:

“I’m sad to be stepping down because it has been a real privilege. Most people at Lichfield District Council try so hard and are genuinely passionate about what they do. Of course we haven’t always got it right but I firmly believe that over the last few years, in a very difficult political environment for small rural councils of every ‘colour’, Lichfield  has performed pretty well with the interests of local communities at heart.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.