After a successful year as the city’s first citizen David Sanders was the toast of the Town Hall on Monday evening as he handed over his gown and chains to his successor as Mayor of Peterborough.
But the councillor for Eye, Thorney and Newborough left onlookers stunned when he announced that the evening’s meeting would be his last as a politician, and a Conservative.
Peterborough City Council chief executive Gillian Beasley was one of many to have had no clue he was going to resign - she had been given Mr Sanders’ resignation letter but he had told her not to open it yet!
Explaining his decision, the 55-year-old dad of two said: “After 20 years as a councillor it was a nice time to go. I’ve been busy working, raising a family and being a councillor and now I want to kick back. I particularly like my boating and I want to do stuff with my kids that I’ve not done.
“I’m just happy - it’s a nice life and I’m going to utilise it.”
Mr Sanders added: “I was a rebellious and conscientious backbench councillor and I will miss stirring the hornet’s nest. I’ve represented a great ward.”
Council leader Cllr John Holdich, the Conservative group leader, said Mr Sanders was a good councillor but that it was a “bit unfair” he hadn’t been forewarned of his announcement. He added: “Had he told us before we would have talked him out of it!”