South Northants Council leader to step down at May election

Councillor Mary Clarke is stepping down
Councillor Mary Clarke is stepping down

South Northamptonshire Council leader Mary Clarke is to stand down at next month’s election.

Councillor Clarke has been in the position for five years, and has made the decision not to seek re-election as district councillor ahead of the election on May 7.

Mrs Clarke has been a councillor for 16 years and currently serves the Old Stratford ward. She said: “I have taken the decision to step down after the completion of my term as council leader and I am confident that I leave the authority better prepared to face the challenges ahead.

“Serving as council leader has been a great honour and something that I will always be proud to look back on. I am indebted to the public for electing me to the council and to members for electing and supporting me as Leader.”

In 2010, under councillor Clarke’s leadership South Northamptonshire Council agreed to joint working with neighbourhing Cherwell District.

Cherwell’s leader, councillor Barry Wood, said: “I have worked alongside Mary for the past five years. I admire not only her commitment to the council but also her determination to preserve the valued services that residents and businesses have come to rely on.”

Councillor Clarke also served as a director of the West Northamptonshire Development Coroporation and the West Northants Joint Strategic Planning Committee, which she chaired for a year.

She is also a director of the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP), a role she will maintain in a private sector capacity.

Sue Smith, chief executive of South Northamptonshire Council, added: “It has been an honour and privilege to work with Mary during my time here and I wish her well in the future.

“I know that I shall continue to see her as she has been recently appointed as a private sector SEMLEP board member so I am delighted that she will be able to make a valuable input into the economic success of the area.”