Tory leader of Harlow Council Russell Perrin resigns
News / Fri 12th May 2023 at 05:31pm
THE CONSERVATIVE leader of Harlow District Council has announced he will resign.
Speaking to BBC Essex, Sumners and Kingsmoor councillor Russell Perrin said it had been “hard to balance” the competing pressures of his day job as a deputy head teacher with being a father and council leader.
It comes after the Conservatives increased their majority on the council in the local elections on May 4th, at a time of heavy losses for the party across England.
However, there were many evenings when he would finish at Stewards Academy at 5pm and travel down to the civic offices to oversee the running of the council.
He is expected to remain leader until a full council meeting on May 25th.
Last week, the Conservatives increased their majority on the council by one, by winning a seat off Labour which Mr Perrin described as “bucking the national trend”.
Despite that win, the Conservative share of the overall vote had decreased compared to 2021, when the Tories took control of the council from Labour.
Mr Perrin told BBC Essex he was leaving the council “in better shape than when I found it”.
However he said it had been “emotionally hard and physically hard to balance all of those competing pressures” involved with balancing home, work and council life.
He said he knew he did not want to be leader going into the local elections next year and wanted to give a new leader a year “getting ready for a big battle” when all seats on the council would be up for grabs.
“I’m a father of two children, I’ve a full time career and I often don’t leave the council building until 10 or 11 o’clock in the evening most nights,” he said.
“I don’t say that for any pity or plaudits – it’s just a matter of fact. I know I can’t continue to keep doing that.
“I won’t be going into that election, which will need somebody that is able to front up that fight.
“So I was doing the right thing and saying, ‘OK we’ve achieved all this great stuff… so I feel I’ve done my bit’.”
During his 18 months as leader, Mr Perrin has lost a number of senior Conservatives in his cabinet.
His Deputy Leader, Dan Swords, quit in February and said he was disappointed in the position and direction the council was taking.
Simon Carter, a longstanding Conservative councillor, was sacked from his cabinet post in November.
Harlow Conservatives will vote for a new group leader at their annual general meeting this weekend.
Crikey, at this rate we’ll have had nearly as many local Tory leaders in the past 2 years as Tory PM’s!
he's done a lot for the town more than labour has ever done !
Never seen you complaining and you in my ward
Never seen you complaining and you in my ward
Never seen you campaigning and you're in my ward
Mr Perrin was not old enough or wise enough to realise that it’s morally wrong to write to the local press using a name other than your own, especially on important matters. A part of me hopes somebody influential was investigating that, and that it was the true reason for his resignation.
Mr Perrin was not old enough or wise enough to realise that it’s morally wrong to write to the local press using a name other than your own, especially on important matters. A part of me hopes somebody influential was investigating it, and that it was the true reason for his resignation.
Tory fabrication, nepotism & lies are out of place. Keeping it real is what's important to people during these harsh, never ending Tory winters! Pointless laying flagstones in the town centre when people are sleeping in shop doorways! The town is desperate for charities to be engaged with & supported in order they help deliver to those less fortunate & in need. Local youngsters need peers in schools to educate them about the outrageous drug culture alive on the streets of Harlow. The council needs to actively source & speak with the many excellent locals who can help make the difference in young people's lives. Harlow is home to many, many cultured artisans across various forms of music & culture. This is where you can, if you are willing begin to make a difference.
I hope Cllr Russell Perrin is able to make a better future for himself and his family. It would have been nice for him to have overseen the regeneration of the town centre. However, I suspect he knew that projects of that nature rarely run smooth and the stress would have been too much. He should have received more support from his colleagues. I wish him well.
Latest Odds:- Nicky Purse 2-1 Dan Swords 7/2 Stacey Seales 10/1
On a personal level I wish Cllr Perrin and his family all the best for the future.
Whilst Cllr Perrin and I disagree on many things, I understand the pressure political life can place on the families of Councillors.
Our political views often dictate whether or not we think councillors do a good job. They all give up their time unpaid, to serve the public and should be applauded. That said, this announcement does perhaps explain why my email asking why some £7million, sitting unused with a local organisation, cannot be used for the town hasn't been answered.
I dont normally knock harlow i always try to be positive but the town is looking dirty. Tired. And is falling apart. The money is being waisted. The town's facilities are terrible. Everything that was good has gone, the streets are full of people selling drugs. The schools and hospitals are under pressure and failing the locals.. Nothing is going well in harlow anymore. We are at an all time low. Yet the out going leader says he's leaving with the town in a better position than when he came in.. God help us.
Mr perrin and l, have had a few cross words, and i have strongly disapproved on many issues. But he is not leaving this town in a better position than when he came in. That said , I wish him well ..
Wait he wanted the job then could not handle the working hours. Says a lot about him, I often work from 8 am to 11 pm and work 8 hours a day Saturday and Sunday nothing worth doing is easy. No wonder the country, county and town are in such a mess with such weak leaders.
God forbid we ever get the labour lot in, I think the Conseritive's have done OK.