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Alan Jones is to stand down as Chief Executive of Somerset County Council at the end of July following the Conservatives gaining control of the Council. The new Conservative leader Cllr Ken Maddock says he wants a "change in direction."

I don't know what pay off Mr Jones negotiated but the matter has apparently been managed in an amicable, diplomatic manner. Anyway his departure is not a great surprise. There was a dispute between Mr Jones and a former Lib Dem councillor Paul Buchanan which resulted in Mr Buchanan being thrown out of the Lib Dem group but gaining the support of the Conservative MP Ian Liddell-Grainger. However a tribunal has upheld charges of Mr Buchanan breaking the Code of Conduct amidst this tale of revenge, fear and loathing.

A "clean break" will be welcome – as Speaker Bercow would say.

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