Councillor stands down

By Tristan Harris Thursday 20 March 2014 Updated: 21/03 08:32

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Buy photos » Coun Roger Hollingworth. (s)

AN ALVECHURCH councillor has announced he is to stand down at next year's local elections.

But before that Coun Roger Hollingworth will give up his role as leader of Bromsgrove District Council (BDC) this May to give his successor a year in office before the 2015 ballot.

He told the Standard he was leaving the council because since setting up his business in 1983 and with all his council work in the 11 years he has been in office, he had hardly seen his family.

"I want to spend more time with my wife - I leave her at home so many nights while I am attending meetings or dealing with council business," he said.

"I have done what I came to do - put Bromsgrove on a firm footing and now it's time for someone new to take on a whole lot of new challenges that are facing the council and to drive the progress further forward."

The 69-year-old was elected as a councillor in 2004 and, after being responsible for the environment and finance, took over the role of council leader in 2005, just two years after BDC had accepted help from the Government - known as a voluntary engagement - after being told by the local government minister they were the worst performing council they had ever seen.

They came out of that agreement in 2009 and since then Coun Hollingworth said they had taken steps to put the council on a sustainable footing, including sharing services with Redditch Borough Council.

"From being in intervention we went to being mentioned in the Commons for being a council others should be looking towards," he said.

"It was a hard decision to share services with Redditch, but we have maintained our political sovereignty and, through that, we have saved £1million-a-year which, with an annual budget of £12million, is pretty good going."

Coun Hollingworth said one of the projects he would have liked to have seen was the creation of a single council for North Worcestershire.

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