New Leader at the Local Government Association Lib Dem Group

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the elections in the Local Government Association and the results have now been declared. The biggest change is that Joe Harris , Leader of Cotswolds District Council has been elected Leader of the Lib Dem Group. It was a fascinating election, Howard Sykes the defeated incumbent standing on his record and a barrage of endorsements and Joe standing for change. The final emails from both candidates rather sum up the differences – for Howard it was from Heather Kidd asking for support for him and Bridget Smith for Deputy as “They have proved, time and time again, that they have the skills needed for the job”. In Joe’s email he set out three  priorities (turbocharging communications, listening and championing under represented groups) and promised fresh leadership and new energy.

The LGA Conference is online this year on 6-8 July and is free.

Joe Harris won by 543 votes to 458.

In the election for Deputy Leader Bridget Smith, leader of South Cambs was elected ( Ruth Dombey from Sutton was not restanding).

The appetite for change does not seem to have been reflected in other elections for the various Boards. Well known party figures like Keith House (Eastleigh ) (lead on Resources ) and Liz Green (Kingston) lead on Improvement and Innovation have kept their roles as our Lead on those Boards while on other new leads are Emily Smith from Vale of White Horse being our new lead on People and Places and Sarah Osborne from East Sussex our new lead on Community Wellbeing. On the City Regions Board Gareth Roberts from Richmond replaced Anita Lower from Newcastle as Lead member.

You can see the new Board members here. For the election geeks the detailed results are here.

Probably the first chance most Councillors will get to see Joe Harris in action will be at the LGA Conference which is on 6-8 July. This is usually rather expensive to go to but this year is all online and free to Councillors – thanks to lobbying by the Lib Dem Group! There is a LD Group meeting every morning 9.30am and a vast number of interesting sessions  – including Ed Davey. Councillors can register here.

* Simon McGrath is a councillor in Wimbledon and a member of the board of Liberal Reform.

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