Ex-mayor sets his sights on county role
A FORMER mayor of Wadebridge has resigned from the town council.
Stephen Knightley is standing down to concentrate on his bid to become a Cornwall councillor in the May local government elections.
Mr Knightley has been selected by the Liberal Democrats to contest the Wadebridge East ward, presently represented by Independent Collin Brewer.
He said he would be remaining as chairman of the committee which is drawing up a neighbourhood plan for Wadebridge, Egloshayle and St Breock.
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Mr Knightley said: "I have been very happy in my role as a town councillor. However, during the period I was mayor, I attended many meetings at County Hall where I felt that North Cornwall, and particularly Wadebridge, were not being represented as well as they should have been and as a result we suffered as an community.
"I strongly believe that one should not criticise something unless you are prepared to do it yourself. So, I am committing to the May elections, with a view to working hard to represent my community to the best of my ability.
"I feel that my time as a Wadebridge councillor, particularly the two years spent as mayor, has given me a good understanding of the needs of the community and the manner in which local government works, or indeed, in some cases, does not work.
He went on: "I would like to thank all of my colleagues and the staff at Wadebridge Town Council who work far harder than anyone would normally realise to make the town such a success."
Tony Rush, who last May succeeded Mr Knightley as mayor, said that he could understand his decision to resign, and the council would miss him.
"I know from the time I stood for the town council the amount of work involved in the run-up to an election, but Stephen has a much wider area to cover if he is contesting Wadebridge East, and he probably needs a few months to concentrate on that," said Mr Rush.
"He has always been a committed town councillor and during his time as mayor introduced some excellent initiatives like the monthly mayoral surgeries.
"Campaigning to become a Cornwall councillor is a big commitment, and I can understand why he has resigned, but the town council will miss him."