Jon Collins to step down as leader of Nottingham City Council

Jon Collins has served as Nottingham City Council's leader for 16 years.

Jon Collins is stepping down as leader of Nottingham City Council after 16 years.

The Labour councillor will stand down in May, reported Left Lion, in a story which was then tweeted by Councillor Collins.

An announcement from the council is expected later on Friday, but Councillor Collins told Left Lion: “We’re in a political environment where some of our national politicians carry on regardless; it doesn’t seem to matter how badly they do, how big a defeat they get in Commons or how unpopular they are.

“I want to go out at a time that suits me, which is now.”

Mr Collins has served as a councillor in St Ann’s for 32 years and was elected as leader in 2003.

He will step aside as leader at the local elections in May, and will also not stand as a candidate, meaning he will leave the authority altogether.

Should Labour win the May 2 election, they will elect a new leader at the authority’s annual general meeting.

Mr Collins said on resigning: “Basically I’ve had to make a decision now about whether I want to carry on for another four years. But by then I’ll be 62 and that seems a lot older than 58. I’ve decided that there are other things I’d like to do, places to explore and mountains to climb.

He added he was not leaving due to discontent with the Labour Party or its leadership.

“I do think we’ve changed things for the better, but ultimately it’s for people in the city and those who elected to be the judge of that,” he said.

When asked what he had wanted to achieve but couldn’t, he said the city’s rising numbers of rough sleepers was ‘upsetting’.

“It’s a wider issue than just accommodation, it’s also about support for people with drug, alcohol and mental health problems and much more,” he said.

He added the council was trying to build more council houses, saying 1,000 would be built in the next year, but that 6-7,000 people were still on waiting lists.

He also said the authority could have “done a lot more sooner” when it came to regenerating the city, but pointed to the ongoing Broadmarsh redevelopment, tram network and Sneinton Market as achievements.

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