Deputy leader of St Helens Council resigns

Coun Andy Bowden
Coun Andy Bowden
Share this article

The deputy leader of St Helens Council has stepped down.

Coun Andy Bowden, cabinet member for balanced development, housing and economic opportunity, has informed council leader Derek Long of his resignation.

Other news: Opposition councillors urge residents to have their say on St Helens Local Plan

The Parr councillor told the Local Democracy Reporting Service he has stepped down for “personal reasons”.

Coun Bowden said: “I met with the leader of St Helens Council earlier this week to inform him of my decision to resign as deputy of leader of the council and from my position on cabinet.

“I stressed to him that I believe I have a good relationship with him, as I feel I have with colleagues.

“After taking the Local Plan through to the position where it has been presented to the public and adopted by the council, I have decided to step down as deputy leader for personal reasons and to focus on my role as a ward councillor for Parr and in the office of Conor McGinn MP.”

Coun Bowden returned to cabinet in May following a failed leadership contest at Labour’s annual general meeting.

Despite losing to the current leader, Coun Bowden was given a prominent position in the cabinet as well as the role of deputy leader, one he has held previously.

Coun Bowden’s departure is the second cabinet resignation in two months.

Windle councillor Gill Neal resigned as cabinet member for better health and building arts and culture at the end of November, citing a new job as the reason.

Council leader Derek Long said steps to elect a new deputy leader will be taken in “due course”.

Coun Long said: “I’m sorry to report that Andy Bowden has told me of his intention to resign from his portfolio and as deputy leader for understandable personal reasons.

“We have worked well together over the past nine months and he has given the borough good service over very many years, not the least in bringing forward a balanced Local Plan.

“I am glad he will continue as an excellent ward councillor for Parr and I hope he will feel able to take on other roles in the council in the future.

“We will indicate steps to elect a new deputy leader in due course.”