Thursday, 14 January 2010

Leadership Contest Final Furlong

Update to 'Leadership Contest Speculation Begins'.

The battle to become the Leader of the West Lindsey District Council Conservative Group will reach the finishing post today.

The West Lindsey District Council Conservative Group will meet this evening and elect a new Group Leader and Deputy Group Leader. These two councillors will then, by convention, become Leader and Deputy Leader of West Lindsey District Council, following the resignation or Cllr. Bernard Theobald (Wold View Ward) and Cllr. Adam Duguid (Market Rasen Ward) who, it is understood, is not contesting the Deputy Leadership.

Since Cllr. Theobald's suspention from the Conservative Party, preceded by his surprise resignation as the Council's Leader, Cllr. Adam Duguid has been Acting Leader of West Lindsey District Council, it is understood that Cllr. Ian Fleetwood was made interim leader of the group. Nominations for the post were to be recieved by the Agent yesterday and it is believed that both positions will be contested elections.

Cllr. Ian Fleetwood, Conservative (Bardney Ward), emerged as favourite to secure the top job. One member of the Conservative Group confided in me last week:
"We know, it's going to be Ian."
Cllr. Fleetwood previously held the position of Conservative Group Leader at the authority and is also a Lincolnshire County Council member representing the Bardney and Cherry Willingham Division.

The Lincolnshire Echo also suggested Councillors Lewis Strange, Conservative (Kelsey Ward), and Chris Underwood-Frost, Conservative (Scottor Ward), whilst I predicted that former Deputy Group Leader, Cllr. Mrs. Meg Davidson, Conservative (Fiskerton Ward) and Chairman of the Council, Cllr. Mrs. Jessie Milne, Conservative (Lea Ward) might also be in contention.

There was some speculation that the Group may decide to have two Deputy Leaders of the Council, although the Group's constitution only allows for one Deputy Goup Leader. Based on conversations with Conservatives at West Lindsey it is thought that Cllr. Fleetwood's leadership style may not be too dissimilar to that of his predecessor Cllr. Theobald and so the likelihood of a triple leadership team seems to be receeding.

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