Town’s county councillor steps down
KESWICK’S Liberal Democrat county councillor Elizabeth Barraclough (right) has stepped down and an election for the Keswick and Derwent division will take place on 5th May.
Miss Barraclough, who has been a county councillor for the past six years, is also retiring from her seat on Keswick Town Council, which she has held for 16 years. Keswick mayor Martin Pugmire is to stand as a Liberal Democrat candidate in a bid to replace Miss Barraclough on the county council.
“This was planned. I would have stayed on until the end of the month, but I have had to retire earlier in order for the election to take place on the same day as the other elections on 5th May,” said Miss Barraclough. “I said I would step down as long as there was a suitable candidate available.
“I planned this two years ago at the county council elections and would have stood down then.
“One problem is the amount of travelling with meetings in Carlisle, Penrith and Workington. I hope to continue doing things in the town, without being a councillor,” said Miss Barraclough, who was also an Allerdale Borough councillor for about three years.
Miss Barraclough has been deputy leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the county council and also served on the police authority.
During the coalition with the Conservatives, she served on the cabinet, looking after fire service matters. She was also a member of the scrutiny committee, with fire and emergency planning as part of her duties.
Miss Barraclough is an active member of Keswick in Bloom and footpaths secretary for the Ramblers’ Association.
She said: “The thing I will really miss is getting the Big Society working in Keswick. We have the Derwent Seven group of parishes and we should be the big society right down at local level getting things done. We aren’t properly there yet and I’ll probably continue my involvement in that. The current cuts are too severe, but it’s making people work together.”
Miss Barraclough was born in Lancashire. She spent most of her working life at Newcastle University where she was emeritus director of computing services and was awarded an honorary fellowship. She was at the university for 36 years prior to retiring to Keswick where she had a house and visited regularly for holidays and to walk, having been a voluntary warden with the national park.