Standing Down as a Councillor

I generally don’t blog about my role as a Councillor (or indeed much about my day to day life) but I felt this was worth sharing.

I put this up on FB a couple of days ago:

As it’s now been in the papers I feel it is safe to announce it here too: I am not standing for re-election when my term on the council ends in May. I don’t know what I am doing when my LPC finishes this summer. However, the odds are it will take me away from London. Therefore, Jean Villa will be flying the flag for the Lib Dems in Holywell instead.

It’ll be quite a change for me. By the end of my term it will have been 5 years, 11 months and 9 days since I was first elected back. I was just coming to the end of the first year of my undergrad history degree. So I’ve been a councillor for most of my adult life.

A large part of me is glad. I’m looking forward to having time for hobbies again. And I’m glad Jean will be our candidate. He’s been an impressively proactive campaigner and OULD president.

However, I am more keen on the local political fight than I have been in a long time. Labour’s increasing majority has made them complacent and arrogant. Conversely, the Greens ever further distance from power has lead them to begun more recklessly populist. So there is a clear need for a strong liberal voice in Oxford. I am disappointed that I won’t be part of it much longer.

This elicited quite a number of lovely responses from friends and colleagues. Perhaps my favourite was from a former officer at the Students’ Union:

Well done Mark, it was fantastic working with you and you were a boon to Holywell and student representation in Oxford.

I am hoping in the near future to do a series of posts looking at issues I’ve gained an insight into from my time on the council.

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