Council leader resigns from role

North Somerset Council leader, Don Davies

Cllr Don Davies has resigned as council leader. - Credit: NSC

North Somerset Council boss, Don Davies has announced he will resign from his role with immediate effect.

Cllr Davies has been council leader since 2019 and is likely to be replaced by fellow Independent councillor, Steve Bridger.

"Over the past several months I have been deciding what I should do," Don admitted.

"We have been working seven days a week since the pandemic and with the current fluid political situation ahead of the North Somerset elections I just didn't feel I had sufficient energy to take the council forward - it is right to make the change now.

"The next leader will have a full year to make their mark and move forward."

He joked: "It is entirely my decision, I haven't been watching any agricultural sites in the council's chamber or received any fines from the Met Police."

Weston-super-Mare Town Hall. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Cllr Davies says the decision to step down is entirely his own. - Credit: Archant

Cllr Davies' tenure has been marred by the Covid pandemic, making it one of the toughest periods in the council's history.

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However, he cites his team's response to the pandemic as his proudest achievement as council leader.

"During the pandemic, we managed to mobilise incredible community support for our residents.

"I massively praise the officers involved in the response effort.

"Beyond that, the people of North Somerset delivered big time and to be a part of that is my biggest achievement, I feel we have come out the other side of it stronger and more resilient.

"Putting the climate emergency at the heart of the council's agenda is also something I am proud of."

The soon-to-be ex-council boss also admitted to having regrets during his tenure.

"My biggest single disappointment is the further delays of the Portishead rail line.

"Jokingly, during the election campaign, I said at some point in my term I'd be sat on the first train out of the station - obviously, that is not going to happen.

"It looks hard to even make that pledge for 2023. If this was a marginal seat for the Government then perhaps it would not have messed around with the funding as much."

Cllr Steve Bridger

Cllr Steve Bridger. - Credit: Steve Bridger

Cllr Steve Bridger will be nominated to become the next leader of North Somerset Council at a meeting tomorrow (May 10).

"Steve has my full support, he will do a brilliant job as leader and I look forward to working with him,

"Finally, thank you to the staff and contractors for the brilliant work they thank you to the residents of North Somerset for all they have done for each other and the support they have given me."

Cllr Davies will continue his work as an Independent councillor for Pill.