Alexandra Ward Liberal Democrat councillor, Ken Bates, announced his resignation this morning and spoke exclusively to Ipswich Spy.
Ken said: “It has been an honour to serve the people of Alexandra Ward and Ipswich as a Liberal Democrat after my election in May 2010 and have enjoyed working under the leadership of both Andrew Cann and Nigel Cheeseman.
“Unfortunately, depression (and mania) have been a thorn in my side since childhood, and though I was able to attend many meetings and help residents, there were too many times when I just couldn’t face the world or my duties. In the past year I have suffered with major depression and felt that resigning was the best option, not only for my health, but for the people I was elected to represent. It was not an easy decision.
“I would like to thank friends and councillors of all parties, for their kind wishes.
“I will continue to support the Liberal Democrats, write the occasional blog and keep myself involved in the local political scene, when I am able.”
Cllr Bates, who stepped down as Liberal Democrat Party Chairman last year, has struggled with his health for some time. He was elected in May 2010 and sat on the council’s Human Resources Committee, and was a substitute on the Planning & Development Committee.
Andrew Cann, Liberal Democrat group leader said: “Ken Bates has been a good freind for many years. It is sad to seem him resign as a councillor. I know this is for the best of reasons, that he needs to concentrate on his health and he feels he is not able to perform the functions of councillor as he would wish.
“Ken has suffered from depression for many years, and I wish him all the best in resolving that. His resignation has been timed in order to minimise cost, due to the by election being able to be held on the same day as the county council election.
“I thank Ken for the excellent work he has undertaken as a councillor.”