Jeremy Pembroke quits as Suffolk County Council leader as Andrea Hill sends incredible two page rant to staff

Andrea Hill and Jeremy Pembroke
Photo: EADT
This morning Jeremy Pembroke confirmed that he is to quit as Suffolk County Council's leader. In a live interview with BBC Radio Suffolk's Mark Murphy he claimed that he had been planning to "retire" since December. He denied that his resignation had anything to do with recent problems facing the County Council.

Pembroke claimed that he wanted a younger person (he is soon to be 70) to take over and give them chance to get established before the 2013 elections.

He insisted that the "New Strategic Direction" will remain in place and defended the appointment of Andrea Hill. Listeners to BBC Radio Suffolk did not sounds so convinced with one describing his departure as "rats leaving a sinking ship".

Sandy Martin, Labour Group Leader on SCC expressed serious concerns that politicians are not in charge of Suffolk County Council and pointed to the departure of Graham Dixon and EricWhitfield as being especially worrying. The clear impression is that Andrea Hill is running Suffolk County Council with the elected politicians essentially "nodding dogs".

Crossing with Pembroke's departure Andrea Hill's monthly missive to staff was published. Last month this prompted my open letter to "Misunderstood" at Endeavour House but this month a whole extra page has been added to the magazine to accommodate an incredible two page rant about how unfair the attacks on her and Jeremy Pembroke are.

You really have to read the full text on wikisuffolk to appreciate this but some highlights are the suggestion that that this is "the politics of envy" and:
Let's be clear, Suffolk County Council is now at the leading edge of new thinking in the public sector. We have an inspiring and bold Cabinet who have placed us there. It's not an easy or comfortable place to be because we are challenging the old ways of doing things; we are developing a new model that will unsettle the status quo and, as we all know, any change makes ordinary people uncertain (my emphasis)
On Pembroke Hill is especially glowing describing him as:
the most honest, visionary, trustworthy politician I have ever worked with, is, in my view, being unfairly attacked by a local newspaper. But we also have advocates and supporters both in central government, and local government, who are looking to Suffolk as a future role model. You won't see them in the media - and you might well ask why - but be sure they exist.
 Having worked in IT for many years, being on the "leading edge" is something the wise avoid. One might suggest the reasons that others are not mentioning their interest in the Suffolk "experiment" is so they can disassociate themselves from it when it all goes wrong or "crashing high speed off the edge of a cliff" to quote Sandy Martin.
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