Melton reflects with pride on 33 years as a councillor as he prepares to stand down from Fenland District Council
- Credit: Archant
Two time former council leader Alan Melton says it has been a “privilege” to serve the people of Fenland for 33 years.
Cllr Melton, who was elected to Fenland District Council in 1981 and has won 13 elections, will not contest his Birch Chatteris ward seat at the next May’s election.
Addressing full council, he said it was the right time to step aside and spend more time with his family.
He said: “I’m very, very proud to have had the privilege to represent my town on FDC and also on Cambridgeshire County Council.
“When I stood for election in 2011 I said I would never fight another election.
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“At 63, having done 33 years as a councillor, I’ve given more than half my life to public service.
“I’m the first person to admit I’ve made mistakes over the years.
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“I would like to thank everybody for their support and single out two people, the late Mac Cotterell who was the voice of reason, and Geoff Harper.”
Cllr Melton said he was proud of what the council accomplished during his two leadership stints from 2002-05 and 2010-13.
He said: “In 2002 we set about a modernisation agenda and 2010 was about investment.
“I’m very proud of the fact that as a team we saw over the King Edward Centre, Chatteris Leisure, Thomas Clarkson Academy, the College of West Anglia, superfast broadband and the Rural Capital Fund.
“One of my proudest achievements is the apprenticeship scheme that was set up at Delamore.
“Fenland has a great future in front of it and is in a good position to adapt to whatever emerges.”
Councillors are there to serve the people who elected them, Cllr Melton said.
He said: “This is not our council, it belongs to the people who put us here. We owe it to them to represent them.”
Councillor Florence Newell paid an emotional tribute to her fellow Chatteris councillor.
She said: “We owe you a big debt of gratitude for the time and effort you have put in. A big thank you.”