Council appoints new leaders
North Herts District Council has elected its leaders for the coming year, which included a move to block the Tories from taking seats on Hitchin Committee.
IN the yearly reshuffle of council positions, Lib Dems have sided with Labour to keep the Tories out of a committee’s chairman and vice chairman seats.
In a rejection of the example set by their parliamentary leaders, Hitchin Lib Dem councillors sided with their Labour peers to re-elect Labour’s Judi Billing as chairman of the Hitchin committee and appoint Lib Dem member Paul Clark as vice-chairman. This kept out the Conservative nomination Alison Ashley from both seats, despite the party’s majority in the town.
The vote was taken at Thursday’s annual general meeting of North Herts District Council, where leading positions in the authority are voted on for the coming year.
At the same meeting, former waste and recycling portfolio holder Lynda Needham was elected leader of North Herts District Council, replacing F John Smith, who retired from the authority at the general election. He had held the post since 1999.
Outlining her vision for the future, she said: “The challenging national economic climate means that we must continue to deliver a range of important services which also represent good value for money. The years ahead will be tough, but we are committed to investing in our town centres, prioritising green issues, and getting the balance right between future development and preserving our beautiful countryside.”
Peter Burt, member for Royston Heath, will take over Cllr Needham’s former cabinet role. All other positions in the cabinet remain unchanged.
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Also on the night, Conservative member David Levett was named chairman of the council, taking over from David Millar.
And in Baldock Michael Weeks was named chairman of the town committee and Andrew Young vice-chairman.