By-elections called as two councillors step down

Surinder Soond

Surinder Soond - Credit: Archant

BY-ELECTIONS will be held in two Crow country wards after district councillors tendered their resignation.

Ted Ridgway Watt

Ted Ridgway Watt - Credit: Archant

Cllr Surinder Soond, who represents Meldreth on South Cambridgeshire District Council, will be stepping down, as will Cllr Ted Ridgway Watt, district councillor for Orwell and Barrington.

The by-elections will be held on Thursday, May 2, to coincide with the county council elections.

Cllr Soond, a former Liberal Democrat councillor who left the party earlier this year and has been sitting as an independent, cited work commitments as the reason for his decision.

He said: “I had been planning to step down later this year anyway, and thought I would hand in my resignation now so that a by-election could be held in May and save the council a bit of money.

“Being a councillor is a difficult juggling act, but it has been a tremendous privilege to serve the people of Meldreth and Shepreth, and a great experience to see how local government works.”

Cllr Soond, who was elected in 2010, said he had particularly enjoyed working with the various community groups that are active in his ward.

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He said: “There are so many groups who are passionate about their villages, and with the advent of localism they are getting a chance to get more and more involved with the running of their communities.”

A change of work circumstances was also behind Cllr Ridgway Watt’s decision to resign.

The Conservative councillor, who was elected in 2011, said: “My job now takes me abroad a lot, and while I could still fulfil the requirements of a councillor, I don’t think it’s fair on the residents to have someone who won’t be around a lot of the time.”

Cllr Ridgway Watt said he would encourage people to stand as district councillors.

“It’s a great role because the district council has a real effect on things which affect quality of life and make South Cambridgeshire one of the top places in the country to live,” he said.

Anyone wishing to stand for election as a district councillor in any of the seats has until noon on Friday April 5 to submit their nomination.

For nomination papers, and details on who is eligible to stand, contact South Cambridgeshire District Council’s elections team on 03450 455 214 or email