Blackpool Council's deputy leader confirms he is stepping down

Blackpool Council’s deputy leader, who is in charge of the resort’s beleaguered children’s services department, is stepping down – for now.

Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 7:00 am
Coun Graham Cain.

Coun Graham Cain has today announced his decision, saying it would not be in the council’s interests for him to continue.

Last month, The Gazette revealed he was under investigation by the Labour party.

He is believed to have been suspended pending the outcome of the inquiry, thought to be linked to an alleged improper post shared on social media.

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Coun Cain, inset, did not address the investigation directly but in a statement today said: “I do not believe it is in the best interests of the council and the services I lead, for the uncertainty surrounding a procedure that is highly confidential, and which I cannot comment on, to continue.

“In particular, given the importance of the improvement journey we are on with children’s services, it is extremely distracting.

“As such, I feel it would be best for the service and myself that I offer to temporarily step down until a conclusion is reached.”

The children’s services department has come under fire recently, with Ofsted saying improvements were not coming quickly enough following a report in which it branded the service “inadequate”.

Coun Lynn Williams, currently cabinet member for health and adults, will replace Coun Cain.

Council leader Simon Blackburn said: “I have accepted Graham’s decision to stand down from his cabinet post. I agree that it is the best thing to do at this point in time, and is testament to Graham, and his unwavering commitment to do right by the council, the children’s services directorate, and the children of Blackpool.

“I await the conclusion of the procedure, which I trust will be swiftly concluded.

“Lynn has been a councillor since May 2015 and has held the position of cabinet member for adult and health since May 2019. She has a wealth of experience in social care and I cannot think of a more fitting person to be the new lead member for children’s services and deputy leader.”