North Kesteven Leader Cllr Marion Brighton OBE steps down

Cllr Mrs Marion Brighton OBE has resigned as Leader of North Kesteven District Council and as Leader of the Conservative Group on NKDC.

An article appeared on the Lincolnite and can be seen at link.

A statement from North Kesteven District Council said - 

Leader of North Kesteven District Council Leader Cllr Marion Brighton OBE has today (Tuesday, March 7) stepped down from the leadership of the Council, due to ill health, after more than 16 years at the helm of the authority.

She also steps down from leadership of the Conservative Group at North Kesteven.

The resignation is effective following this Thursday, March 9’s meeting of the Council.

First elected in 1973 - in order to shape the emerging council which came into existence the following year – Cllr Brighton has devoted more than half her life to the service of local residents and businesses and the enhancement of efficient and effective council operations and facilities.

She has led the Council to a position where it has a strong emphasis on the provision, expansion and improvement of social housing, a firm commitment to leisure, arts and cultural outreach, flourishing communities and robust economic development. It also has a strong financial grounding and future-focused investment programme.

Councillor Brighton was awarded the Local Government Information Unit’s Lifetime Achievement Award in November 2016.

She has successfully defended 12 elections, enjoyed 16 years of continuous leadership and been chairman of the council twice.

In that time her zeal and desire to do things differently has seen her pioneer a range of initiatives and partnerships: being one of the first to champion wheeled bins; a new era of council house building; significant leisure investment when others were cutting back; a vast community arts outreach; and shaping and leading on a number of national policy initiatives for the benefit of rural areas.

Along the way she has earned significant respect and admiration on national tourism bodies and regional agencies and colleagues from other councils speak of her ‘outstanding contribution to local government over many years’, her ‘lifetime determination to do the best for her community’ and ‘sincere commitment to the North Kesteven area’.  

In her nomination for the Lifetime Achievement Award, they reflected on her ‘guidance’, her determination ‘to provide the best service of any Lincolnshire authority to its taxpayers’, her ‘vision, relentless resolve and advocacy, delivered with good grace and clarity’.

Cllr Brighton said she owed the Council a huge debt of gratitude for providing a focus in her life following her husband Brian’s death in 1982.

“My husband thought it would be a nice little interest for me to be on the Council, and how right he was. The more I have got into it, the more interesting it becomes; and that is still the case today as we respond to fresh challenges and seek to meet resident needs.

"One of our strengths as a Council is that we’re not driven by politics; and another is that we have some excellent long-serving Members and officers who can draw on the past to inspire and innovate services for the future and support strong, resilient, flourishing communities.”

The Council will meet to elect a new Leader in the coming weeks.

It is understood that the Deputy Leader of the Conservative Group, Cllr Mick Gallagher, will lead the Group and the Council until the Leadership election is held.