So farewell to Suffolk County Council's Brian Riley, who is moving to pastures new in the land of opportunity.

And who can blame him? For his destination of Raleigh, North Carolina, has much to offer, whether you're visiting for business, a culture vulture or just looking to dance the night away. The City of Oaks (so named because it, er, has a lot of oak trees) is one of the fastest-growing cities in the US, noted for its quality of life, world-class museums, award-winning restaurants, shopping, theatres, ballet, opera, concert amphitheatres and the Carolina Hurricanes ice hockey team, who are bit rubbish this season but we're sure the 2006 Stanley Cup champions will come good once more. It all sounds exhausting.

But for all the Southern charm of North Carolina's picturesque state capital, it seems the lure of council business at Endeavour House, Ipswich, is just too great and Cllr Riley has no plans to step down when he hops nearly 4,000 miles across the Pond.

Riley to Raleigh: So long, Cllr Brian.

"We are in the 21st century with emails and Skype and there are plenty of ways of keeping in touch with people in Hadleigh. It isn't a case of gathering around the parish pump any more," he told the East Anglian Daily Times.

Quite so. Cllr Riley explained that he would quit if he were a town or parish councillor, as they deal with the "nitty gritty". But at county level, the role is "more strategic and I don't think it will be a problem doing my work from Raleigh".

He plans to return to dear old Blighty every six to seven weeks to deal with business interests and council goings-on in person - and his expenses allowance of £10,273.74 a year means he'll be able to make almost 11 trips back and forth between NC and London on behalf of a grateful taxpayer.

Cllr Riley told the newspaper while he will effectively be retiring to the states - "although I don't feel I will ever retire completely" - he aims to keep busy and may even dabble in a bit of politics American-style.

"I'll do what I can to get Hillary Clinton elected," he said. In North Carolina? The man clearly likes a challenge.  

But not everyone is pleased is wishing Cllr Riley bon voyage as he leaves for the good life in the state that gave the world Ava Gardner, Ben E King, Michael Jordan, Sugar Ray Leonard, Billy Graham, George Clinton and the Nature Boy himself, professional wrestler Ric Flair.

The ruling Conservative group, which has a majority of one, immediately withdrew the whip and council leader Mark Bee and chief executive Deborah Cadman demanded his resignation if he upped sticks to the States.

North Carolina's very own "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. Wooo!Cllr Bee told the BBC that Riley's plan "beggars belief" and that the good people of Hadleigh "frankly deserve better".

"We have been quite nonplussed by the suggestion that a councillor who represents a place like Hadleigh can feel that they can do that job and live 4,000 miles away," he said.

"We don't feel that represents the spirit of being a locally elected representative and the spirit with which that person is elected."

But while Cllr Riley will not be able to stand in Suffolk's next council election in 2017 as candidates have to, you know, live in the country - he cannot be forced to resign in the meantime as long as he pitches up at one meeting every six months.

God bless democracy, y'all!