Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 8°C


Suffolk: County council chairman to stand for deputy group leadership

12:06 08 April 2014

Guy McGregor

Guy McGregor

The battle over the leadership of Suffolk County Council has taken a new twist with chairman Guy McGregor standing for the deputy leadership of the ruling Conservative group.

Mr McGregor said he had been approached by councillors from different parts of Suffolk urging him to stand against current deputy Lisa Chambers.

But he would not confirm whether he was standing as running mate to finance spokesman Colin Noble who is challenging Mark Bee for the leadership of the Conservative group.

Meanwhile county council opposition leader Sandy Martin felt the whole election process meant the administration was not concentrating on the issues that affected the people of Suffolk.

Mr McGregor said: “Councillors from all over Suffolk have asked me to allow my name to be put forward for the deputy leadership. I have agreed to that.

“This is an internal election and I have contacted my fellow councillors to outline why I am standing. That is all I wish to say about the election.”

He would be addressing councillors at Thursday’s annual general meeting of the Conservative group at the county council.

Mrs Chambers did not want to comment on Mr McGregor’s intervention, but said she spoke regularly to her colleagues and was looking forward to the election.

The nomination papers for the both the leadership and deputy leadership candidates have been announced.

Mr Bee is nominated by Mrs Chambers and seconded by backbench councillor Peter Beer.

Mr Noble is nominated by cabinet member Richard Smith and seconded by backbench councillor, and leader of Forest Heath council, James Waters.

Mrs Chambers is nominated by Mr Bee and backbencher Gordon Jones while Mr McGregor is nominated by backbenchers Jessica Fleming and John Goodwin.

Mr Martin’s Labour group can only watch as the Conservatives choose a new leader for the group that has 39 of the 75 seats on the county council – a majority of three.

He said: “When you look at what Mark Bee and Colin Noble are saying, there isn’t a great deal of difference – things will be tough for people in Suffolk whoever is in charge of the Conservative group.

“Three years ago the Conservatives swapped leaders who could not sell the New Strategic Direction to the public for a leadership that is very good at communicating – even though the policies effectively remain exactly the same.

“From that point of view I don’t think the leadership election will change things at all – but it is rather dominating things at the council at the moment.”

The leadership election will take place during the county council annual general meeting on Thursday.

The leadership ballot will take place first, followed by the ballot for the deputy leader’s position.

Because there are only two candidates for each position, there will be a single count and the results of both ballots are expected to be announced by lunchtime.

The exact numbers of votes for each candidate will not officially be announced – but it is expected that the figures will become clear soon after the meeting finishes.

1 comment

  • Well lets hope that the current leadership stays in place then gets to grips with the cabinet changes that are needed.

    Report this comment

    True blue

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Hundreds of youngsters braved the cold October temperatures to celebrate all things autumn at the Holywells Park Apple Day.

Severe traffic delays on the A12 in Feering, Essex, have been caused by a two car crash.

Suffolk police officers have been called to a clown sighting in Haughley, near Stowmarket this afternoon.

Fight or flight is fascinating, writes Ellen Widdup.

A Kesgrave man accused of attempting to rape a schoolgirl has been cleared by a jury.

Two boys with “hearts of gold” will be handed a BBC Radio 1 teen hero award for their charity work in Sudbury on Sunday, following the death of their close friend when he was just 13.

A Suffolk-based charity auction which has attracted bids from all over the world and raised more than £870,000 since its inception is aiming to break the £1million mark for national and local charities this year.

Some stores display a polite notice next to initial merchandise asking shoppers not to rearrange the items to create rude words.

Rail company Greater Anglia has unveiled a new weapon in its battle against problems caused by leaves on the line during the autumn.

Although I’m a fan of the show Spamalot - I went to see the touring production at the Regent five years ago - I have to admit I only wanted to see the Company of Four’s version as my cousin Jo is in it (very good as a sweary minstrel, I have to say!)

Most read

Most commented


Show Job Lists

Topic pages


Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24