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Porter expresses interest in LGA chair role

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The leader of the Conservative group on the Local Government Association Gary Porter has confirmed his intention to apply for the role of chair.

Cllr Porter, who has to stand down as group leader this summer due to party rules, confirmed to LGC he was intending to throw his hat into the ring.

LGC reported last week that the Conservatives had regained control of the LGA after winning more than 500 seats and control of an extra 28 councils in this month’s local elections. The Tories have a majority of 0.6% and, as a result, Labour’s David Sparks is set to be replaced as the LGA’s chair.

While there is a time limit on the Conservative group leadership role, Cllr Porter said it does not prevent that person from applying for the chairmanship of the LGA should the party be in control.

Cllr Porter, who is also leader of South Holland DC, said the Tories “never expected” to win back control of the LGA this year. But now that they have he said: “It’s been usual for people to have been leader to express an interest in going for the chairmanship because it’s the only place to go to.”

Cllr Porter said he had not yet devised his manifesto but added “most people in the LGA know what I’m like…and they will either support that or they won’t.”

LGC reported yesterday how former Cheshire West & Chester Council leader Mike Jones (Con) is considering standing as chair.

Surrey CC leader and County Councils Network chair David Hodge has also been tipped as a potential chairmanship candidate but declined to comment on the matter last week when contacted by LGC.

The chairmanship of the LGA is set to be decided by the end of June.

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