James Jamieson has won the ballot to become leader of the Local Government Association Conservative group.
The leader of Central Bedfordshire Council received a weighted total of 1,911 votes to incumbent David Simmonds’s 1,543 in an internal ballot of Tory group leaders.
Cllr Simmonds, Hillingdon LBC’s deputy leader told LGC: ”Our team can be proud of having delivered against our priorities, to the benefit of all Conservative local government. I wish James luck in his new role. I was pleased to have good support from many different types of councils over the past year and in this election and will continue to work to the broad interests of Conservative councils and councillors.”
County council leaders performed particularly well in this year’s ballot, with three of the four ’at large’ executive member positions going to county councillors.
“It’s not written anywhere, but there’s a sense coming from the counties that it’s ‘our turn’,” said one council leader, who did not wish to be named.
According to the council leader, this year’s results had inspired some controversy within the group because “convention requires that you just don’t stand against an incumbent”.
“Conservative group convention would say that David Simmonds should have gone unchallenged - but with Lord Porter stepping down [as the association’s chair, due to the maximum term limit stipulated by the Tory group rules] next year we’ve got a number of people positioning themselves for the top job now.”
In a close ballot for the county council executive member position, Leicestershire CC leader Nick Rushton beat Essex CC leader David Finch by only 13 votes.
Cllr Rushton, who received 1,618 votes to Cllr Finch’s 1,605, told LGC he was “very, very happy” with the result.
“The real story to come from this election however is the high percentage of elected positions given to county councillors,” Cllr Rushton said.
The LGA Conservative group ballot results 2018: (Names in bold were elected)
|Conservative group leader||James Jamieson||Central Bedfordshire Council||1,911|
|David Simmonds||Hillingdon LBC||1,543|
|Conservative group deputy leader||Izzi Seccombe||Warwickshire CC||Elected unopposed|
|County council executive member||Nick Rushton||Leicestershire CC||1,618|
|David Finch||Essex CC||1,605|
|Non-met district council executive member||John Fuller||South Norfolk Council||Elected unopposed|
|London borough council executive member||Teresa O’Neill||Bexley LBC||Elected unopposed|
|Metropolitan district council executive member||Robert Light||Kirklees MBC||Elected unopposed|
|Unitary council executive member||Charlotte Haitham-Taylor||Wokingham BC||1,726|
|Paul Bettison OBE||Bracknell Forest Council||1,632|
|“At large” executive members||Philip Atkins||Staffordshire CC||2,208|
|Kevin Bentley||Essex CC||1,542|
|Geraldine Carter||Calderdale MBC||873|
|Neil Clarke||Rushcliffe BC||1,467|
|Tom Fitzpatrick||North Norfolk DC||896|
|Charlotte Haitham-Taylor||Wokingham BC||1,413|
|Colin Noble||Suffolk CC||1,777|
|Chris Pillai||Calderdale MBC||302|
|David Renard||Swindon BC||1,463|