Councillor Stephen Sears resigns from cabinet

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Contact details of key figures:
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Councillor Stephen Sears has stepped down as Ealing's Cabinet Member for Transport and Planning.

Councillor Sears said that he had already decided not to seek re-election in 2006 in order to dedicate more time to his role as Chief Executive of Ealing Community Transport (ECT), but brought forward his resignation when his company bid for a council contract.

He added , "The increasing demands of my full time professional career meant that I was already reconsidering my position as cabinet member, and ECT's bid for the council's Clean and Green contract simply brought forward my need to step down."

Clean and Green is the council's integrated recycling and waste management contract.

He had portfolio responsibility for the West London Tram project and was seen as one of the main supporters of the scheme. On resigning he reiterated his support for the council's 'progressive transport and planning policies.' It has not been suggested that his departure is related to recent speculation that the failure of Transport for London to include the project a £10bn funding programme indicates that it will not proceed.

The recent departures of senior council officers including the Chief Executive Gillian Guy are part of a long series of changes at the top level of the Council but this is the first time an elected councillor has stepped down as opposed to an employee of the Council.

Councillor Sears was first elected to the council in 1986 for four years, and was re-elected in 1994 when he was the Chair of the Environment Committee under a previous political structure. He became a cabinet member in 2000. He will continue his duties as ward councillor for Hobbayne ward until the 2006 local election. A new cabinet member will be appointed at the council meeting on 7 December.

November 18, 2004