Councillor Melanie Baddeley has today (Tuesday) stepped down from the role of Deputy Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent.
Councillor Baddeley was to be put forward to become Lord Mayor in September, subject to a vote at the annual meeting of Stoke-on-Trent City Council.
She said: “It is with great sadness that I have resigned as Deputy Lord Mayor. However, I have found the last few weeks have been extremely upsetting and I want to do the right thing for myself and my family, the city council and this brilliant city.
“I was honoured to be announced as the incumbent Deputy Lord Mayor. I have lived in Abbey Hulton for 33 years and always worked to support my community and local people. My role as Deputy Lord Mayor was a civic one, supporting the Lord Mayor, and promoting all that is good in our city. It is an inclusive position, championing equality and supporting and recognising the best of all of the wonderful communities that make up Stoke-on-Trent.
“The role is not political however I always knew as a result of decisions I’ve taken in the past that it would be a challenge taking on this civic duty. I have apologised for my wrongdoings and I thought that through adversity, hard work and commitment, I may be given a second chance. However, I realise now that this is not possible.
“Over recent weeks, my family and I have received hate and abuse on social media and in other ways from a small minority. I realise now that however much I want to make it better, because of decisions that I took in the past, this isn’t going to happen. I therefore feel that it’s best for all concerned, including my own family that I step down.
“I want to do right by this great city that has diversity and kind people at its heart. I do not want a civic and symbolic role and all that it stands for to become a focus for hate. I also do not want to impact negatively on the reputation of Stoke-on-Trent City Council or Stoke-on-Trent for the year I would be in role. Life during Covid-19 is challenging enough as it is.
“Through the role of Lord Mayor and all it stands for, I wanted to ensure that I could fundraise for worthwhile charities across the city but I also believe this now would also be untenable. It is for these reasons that I think it is for the best if I resign. I know it is the right thing to do.
“I wish my successor the very best and I know they will go on to continue to deliver wonderful things for this great city.”
For all media enquiries please contact the Communications Department at Stoke-on-Trent City Council on 01782 232671.