Veteran councillor decides he will not contest the election

A veteran councillor who was recognised in the New Year Honours will not contest the forthcoming elections, bringing an end to more than 30 years' service.

Thursday, 19th January 2017, 11:00 am
Robert Arckless

Coun Robert Arckless won’t be standing as a candidate at the May 4 vote because ‘he needs to address his work-life balance’.

In an emotional speech at last week’s Amble Town Council meeting, he said that it had been a great privilege to represent the area and the decision to step down in a few months’ time had not been an easy one.

Coun Arckless, who has cerebral palsy, has been a county councillor since 1989 and has served on the town council for 34 years.

The 58-year-old has been Mayor of Amble twice, is a former chairman of Alnwick District Council and is the county council’s cabinet member for children’s services.

He was recently made an MBE for services to Northumberland communities.

He said: “My disability is having an increasing impact on my general health and I have been advised that I need to consider my work-life balance.

“After much thought, I have decided not to be a candidate in the forthcoming elections.

“My spirit burns as brightly as ever and my commitment remains to the communities I have been proud to represent and to the Labour Party.

“I have always tried to give my best and I will do that until the end of my term of office.

“I hope to continue my involvement in community work in some way.”