Independent revolution's driving force announces shock resignation

HIGH-PROFILE councillor Stewart Rickersey has resigned from Mansfield District Council and from key roles at four other organisations, it has been revealed.

The independent member, who represented Lindhurst ward, was re-elected to the authority three months ago but has now decided to stand down to restore some 'work/life balance' and put his wife and family first.

"I have put my business life and my voluntary work at the top of my personal agenda for over 25 years," he said.

"The sudden heart surgery required by my best friend in the USA late last year has weighed heavily on my mind ever since and prompted a full medical review for myself, with very satisfying results.

"However, it has caused me to reflect on my commitments and I have decided to change the way that I work and live.

"Establishing my own businesses over the past five years or so has also taken a personal and financial toll that I no longer feel is sustainable nor desirable and I will be making changes in line with my new objectives."

The move comes just weeks after Mr Rickersey launched EMTV, an on-line television station for the East Midlands based at Pleasley Vale Business Park.

Along with his resignation from the council, Mr Rickersey has also left his roles as director of Mansfield 2020, president of Mansfield Area Chamber of Commerce, trustee of drugs awareness charity D.A.R.E. and chairman of Bassetlaw Town Centre Partnership Trust.

The businessman was the main driving force behind the independent revolution in Mansfield, which led to Tony Egginton becoming the town's first ever directly-elected mayor in 2002 –– and himself was one of 25 independent candidates elected onto the district council in May 2003.

This week Mr Egginton paid tribute to the work carried out by Mr Rickersey, telling Chad: "I think Stewart has done a great job. He has been my campaign leader for two elections. He has done a lot as a councillor and I am sad to see him go.

"I want to thank him for his contributions. He was the one who fought the big battle to have the referendum for mayor and I will be ever thankful to him, as the people of Mansfield will be."

And Labour Group leader Andy Wetton cast aside political rivalry to praise Mr Rickersey. Said Coun Wetton: "I think he has been an excellent councillor and served his ward very well.

"Clearly we will be looking to fight any by-election."

Mr Rickersey will remain as a member of Mansfield 2020, Mansfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Mansfield Rotary Club, the Armchair Club and as chairman of the Sister Cities Association.

His resignation means a by-election is likely to take place next month.