New Melton councillor to be elected after town member stands down
There will be a by-election for the Melton Dorian ward on Melton Borough Council after Councillor Alan Pearson decided to stand down after six years in the post.
Councillor Pearson flew to Australia before last Christmas to see family and seek a second opinion following surgery on his shoulder.
He fulfilled his council duties via email and online meetings, when members were unable to meet in-person due to cornavirus restrictions.
Councillors have been able to gather again in the council chamber on Parkside for a number of months but Councillor Pearson - an Independent councillor - was not able to fly home from Perth due to tight travel restrictions Down Under to meet a complusory requirement to attend Thursday’s full council meeting.
He contacted the Melton Times to tell us he was standing down, explaining: “Sadly due to the unprecedented COVID-19 situation, extremely strict travel restrictions in Western Australia and ongoing heath issues I am unable to return in time to attend the next full council meeting.”
In a letter to Edd de Coverly, chief executive at Melton Borough Council, and shared with the Melton Times, Councillor Pearson wrote: “As you are aware at this weeks full council meeting, Compulsory attendance is required for me to remain a Melton Borough Councillor.
“Unfortunately due to ongoing Heath issues requiring a number of surgical procedures and the locked Western Australian borders I am unable to return.
“This unprecedented situation regarding Covid 19 has made my situation very difficult and extremely frustrating.
“I have enjoyed my six years representing the residents of the Melton Borough as a district councillor.
“I would also like to thank MBC officers for their support during this period. Working together we did a excellent and professional job turning around our social housing program.
“Our narrative approach to communicating and working with our tenants lead the way in Leicestershire and the Midlands.
“Melton Mowbray is a very unique and wonderful Borough that I have been privileged to live in for over 23 years and represent as a Country Councillor and district Councillor.
“I would to take this opportunity to personally wish you, officers and all district councillors best wishes and ongoing success for the future.”
Melton Dorian is represented by Conservative Pat Cumbers and Green Party representative Phillip Wood, with a ballot now set to be held to elect Councillor Pearson’s replacement.
Councillor Pearson also served eight years as Melton West representative on Leicestershire County Councillor after being elected at the 2013 and 2017 pools.
He decided not to stand again at the ballot earlier this year due to his health issues, saying he was ‘bitterly disappointed’ to end his tenure as a county councillor.