KING’S LYNN: Tory leadership hopeful urges change of style
A senior West Norfolk councillor has urged a change of style in the leadership of Norfolk County Council – as he put his name forward for the role.
As first reported in the Lynn News on Friday, West Norfolk Council deputy leader Brian Long has confirmed he intends to stand for the post of Conservative group chairman at Norfolk County Council when a new leader is chosen on Friday.
The winner will then be proposed as the authority’s next leader at a special meeting next Monday.
But Mr Long, who represents the Lynn North and Central division at County Hall, believes whoever is elected to lead the county authority must steer a new course ahead of this May’s elections.
He said: “I think there needs to be a change of direction at County Hall and it needs to be seen to be more in tune with the public’s needs.”
He also argued West Norfolk residents felt “very remote” from the county authority because of policies such as the Lynn incinerator plan which had been “driven home” by the previous leadership, despite fierce opposition.
The position of Tory group chairman has been vacant since Derrick Murphy resigned earlier this month after a standards committee ruled that he had brought his old office as council leader into disrepute.
He had previously stepped down as the council’s leader last month in order to fight the standards case against him.
And Mr Long said the time was right to have an “initial try” for the post, as it will be reviewed following the elections.
He added: “It’s unprecedented having to look for a leader two months before the elections.”
Mr Long also defended council chief executive David White over his decision to record a phone conversation with Mr Murphy, describing it as “regrettable but necessary.”
Current acting leader, Bill Borrett, together with fellow cabinet members Graham Plant and Ann Steward, are also thought to be in the running to succeed Mr Murphy.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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