Veteran councillor decides he will not contest the election

Robert Arckless
Robert Arckless
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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.

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.”