Monday saw the political renaissance of Cllr Nick Meekins with his ambition fulfilled of being elected chairman of Fenland District Council.
It’s been quite a journey.
Be loyal to the party and the party is loyal to you, is probably his motto after the Conservatives clearly forgave what they probably regard as a temporary aberration when he stood as an independent for both Wisbech Town Council and Fenland District in 2019.
Four years ago, he held a slightly different outlook on political life when he aligned himself with a group of former Tories to challenge for a seat on Fenland District Council and Wisbech Town Council as an independent.
Curiously the leadership of both the town council and district barely moved an iota but Cllr Meekins clearly felt so.
In 2019 he said: “I don’t think my opinions of the Tory leadership on Wisbech and Fenland Council should come as a surprise to anyone who reads the local press.
“In my view there are a small group of uber Tories who dominate the party locally, holding as they do key positions and ruling by selecting sycophants as candidates and threatening deselection to any Tory who may not completely toe the line, and being abusive/aggressive to non-Tory councillors.”
He said so far as Wisbech Town Council was concerned he felt it was a “poor decision and against professional advice” to take over Wisbech Castle.
Time stops for no one, and by 2021 he was back in the Tory fold.
“I truly believe that it’s important that decisions in our local councils are subject to due questioning and challenge, and there need to be checks and balances in place,” he said at the time.
“I’ve come to realise over the last two years that the most effective way that I can contribute to that process is as a member of the Conservative groups on both Fenland District Council and Wisbech Town Council.
“I’ve acted constructively and collaboratively over the last two years from the opposition benches,
“I’ve generally been pleased with the way both councils have been run by the Conservatives and I’d like to contribute further to the councils, both for the residents I represent and for the area as a whole.
“I feel the best way do this is as a member of the Conservative Party.
“My main aim continues to be to work for the people of Peckover Ward as I have done for the past two years – answering correspondence promptly, following up their queries and reporting back to concerned residents.”
Last year he was ‘rewarded’ for his turn around when a surprise vacancy occurred for the vice chairmanship of Fenland District Council.
Cllr Rob Skoulding was forced to step down mid-way through his traditional two years in office, and Cllr Meekins was invited to replace him.
At the annual meeting of the district council this week he became chairman, a position he will hold for two years.
His vice chairman will be Cllr Brenda Barber, elected this month as Tory councillor for Leverington and Wisbech Rural.
Among those Cllr Meekins thanked was “my mother Margaret Meekins. Some of you will know that my mum has been very seriously ill over the past four months and there have been times when it looked like we would lose her.
“They have been tough months for all my family, but she has, I am glad to say, kept going.
“I was especially pleased to be able to tell her that ‘her little boy,’ as she still calls me, was having this honour bestowed on me today.”
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