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CROFT ACCEPTED AS LINCOLNSHIRE LEADER

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Conservatives at Lincolnshire CC have elected Ian Croft as their new leader...
Conservatives at Lincolnshire CC have elected Ian Croft as their new leader

to replace disgraced Jim Speechley.

Accepting the£24,000 a year job of running the authority, which has been beset by damning reports over its recent political and financial management, Mr Croft announced his priority would be to restore confidence in the council.

The council has been hit by a series of controversies, with former leader Mr Speechley criticised over his conduct in two reports (LGC, 10 May & 21 June). He resigned last month (LGC, 20 September).

Lincolnshire police and the national Standards Board for England are also conducting their own separate investigations into recent events at the authority.

Mr Croft said: 'We have put in place measures to prevent these things from ever happening again, and codes of behaviour to ensure they don't happen.

'It is my intention to restore the morale of officers and members. I believe [they] are dedicated to providing a good service to the people of Lincolnshire.'

Chief executive David Bowles said: 'We have been through some unusual times. The last two years have been particularly difficult for us. I have tried to make it clear the problems have not been endemic.'

Mr Bowles said officers respected Mr Croft and added: 'We have an opportunity to put recent events behind us.'

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