Ashfield District Council leader Jason Zadrozny stepping back for a time but not quitting
The leader of Ashfield Council says he is temporarily ‘stepping back’ from his high-profile role to focus on personal health issues.
But Coun Jason Zadrozny hit back at suggestions he is to fully step down from his role at the authority, saying suggestions otherwise may be a bit ‘wishful thinking’ from political opponents.
The Ashfield Independents leader says he is concentrating on a ‘personal health matter’ and has told councillors they should contact the council’s cabinet in the interim.
He said: “I should be back on full speed in a month or two, fingers crossed.
“I’m very much still leading the council.”
Coun Zadrozny led the Ashfield Independents to a strong electoral showing in May 2019, when its candidates secured a commanding position on the council, taking 30 out of 35 seats.
In that election, Coun Zadrozny himself scored a massive victory, with 993 votes, or 81 per cent of votes cast.
Now aged 41, Coun Zadrozny, became the youngest council leader in the country when he became Liberal Democrat leader of Ashfield Council in 2007, aged just 26.
Labour seized back power in 2009, but, after launching the Ashfield Independents party in 2015, following his suspension by the Lib Dems, Coun Zadrozny swept to power again in 2018, when the Independents secured a landslide victory.
As well as leading the district council, Coun Zadrozny also serves on Nottinghamshire County Council as member for Ashfields.
He has represented the division since 2017, having previously served as member for Sutton North from 2007-2017.
He has also repeatedly stood for the Ashfield parliamentary seat.
In 2010, as a Liberal Democrat, he lost to Labour’s Gloria De Piero by just 192 votes, while in 2015, he was forced to withdraw after his arrest, on suspicion of child sex offences.
Coun Zadrozny was cleared of all charges when the case finally reached trial three years later after the prosecution offered no evidence – and later vowed to sue the police, claiming the allegations were politically motivated.
He stood for parliament again in 2019, finishing second behind Conservative Lee Anderson, a former Labour member of Ashfield Council.