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Elected in May, Mayor of March stands aside on ‘health grounds’

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Less than three months after becoming mayor of his home town, Cllr Mark Purser has stood down because of ill health.

His resignation was accepted at a meeting of the town council held on August 7.

Behind the scenes Cllr Purser had come in for criticism for his alleged failure to maintain a grip on civic affairs and for his handling of town council meetings which, as mayor, he chaired.

Minutes from that meeting, now published, reveal that agenda items containing notification of his resignation had been marked ‘confidential’.

The council was told that on August 2, “a letter from the mayor, Cllr Mark Purser was circulated to all councillors by the clerk, advising that Cllr Purser would sadly be retiring from his position as mayor of March on grounds of ill health.

“Cllr Purser delivered an outgoing speech to councillors, thanking them for their support and wishing his successor a successful term of office.

“Cllr Purser would be remaining as a councillor on March Town Council and is committed to working hard for the benefit of the town and our community.”

Cllr Kim French is again mayor of March after successfully winning a vote at March town council to replace Cllr Mark Purser who stood down for health reasons

Cllr Kim French is again mayor of March after successfully winning a vote at March town council to replace Cllr Mark Purser who stood down for health reasons

The minutes added: “Appointment of mayor.  Following the retirement of Cllr Purser as mayor of March, nominations were invited for a new mayor to be appointed for the remainder of the 2023/2024 mayoral term.

“Cllr Purser proposed Cllr Kim French. This was seconded by Cllr Tim Taylor. Cllr Hannah Orbell proposed Cllr Martin Field. This was seconded by Cllr Stephen Court.

“The decision was taken to the vote, with the majority voting in favour of Cllr Kim French.

“Cllr Kim French was duly elected as mayor of March.”

The deputy mayor, who would normally have taken the helm, is Cllr Gary Christie. He felt, however, that as he had only recently become a councillor, he was unable to accept a nomination for the post.

Cllr Purser has confirmed to me that – “on doctor’s orders” – he decided to stand down as mayor.

He had been deputy mayor in 2022/23 and following his successful re-election to both March Town Council and to Fenland District Council he stepped up, as is traditional, from deputy to mayor.

Cllr Kim French had previously been mayor in 2020/21, 2021/22 and 2022/23. She also held the civic role in 2017/2018

 

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