Harlow Council leader Russell Perrin discusses decision to resign
News / Tue 23rd May 2023 at 10:09am
LAST week the leader of Harlow Council Russell Perrin announce that he was standing down.
In many ways, he was a reluctant leader, having taken over from Andrew Johnson following his sudden departure in September 2021.
But trying to maintain a work/life balance can be very hard. But in councillor Perrin’s position,it is a work/work/life balance as he has a full time job as an Assistant Headteacher before he tries to oversee a multi-million pound organisation such as Harlow Council.
We met up with councillor Perrin, fittingly enough as he was in between his day job and his evening duties at the council, to discuss his decision and reflect on the last two years.
Russell is still smiling and cheerful so no permanent harm done. A wise decision to stand down as leader before it ground him down.
Then he should never have taken the role, this is the issue today people are scared of hard work. No one ever achieves anything working 40 hours a week.
Isn't it strange that in the uk we trust decisions to part timers, who frequently get overstretched or worn down? It might be better if for their term in office Cllrs were paid to be full time, engage with training for the role and their professional jobs protected. We then might get better more informed decision making.
Cllr. Perrin likes to talk a good game but being in a leadership role obviously entails pressure both personally and professionally as I suggested to him back in February 2022. It is also challenging and invigorating in equal measure. Sadly Cllr. Perrin leaves office without any serious or fundamental change to the towns' infrastructure or locally based council services. Indeed Potter Street has been waiting twenty years for the latter and five years for the former. Will anything change with another "new" leader? I suspect not given Cllr. Swords walked last year rubbishing any real change during his time as deputy leader. No wonder the turnout for the local elections was so low.
The coup which has taken place in the local conservative group has been well known and been on the cards for months, the resignation of Dan Swords and the lack of support given to Councillor Perrin earlier this year meant his days were numbered. Interesting to note that if asked he would stand as a candidate in a General election, would he give up his career in education to go into politics full time and what would that mean for spending more time with his family?
Out with the old, and in with the new..