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New District Councils Network chair announced

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The new chair of the District Councils’ Network is set to be John Fuller.

John Fuller

John Fuller

John Fuller

The leader of South Norfolk Council won 87% of the vote whereas his rival Chris Saint, leader of Stratford-on-Avon DC, got 13% of the vote.

A total of 79 votes were cast in total among the Conservative group of district leaders which equates to a turnout of 53%.

The DCN chair is picked from the party which controls the majority of the 201 districts, 143 of which are Conservative controlled.

Cllr Fuller told LGC he was “delighted” to be the next DCN chair-in-waiting and pointed to the winning marging as a “real vote of confidence”.

His first priority is to meet with communities secretary Sajid Javid to impress upon him the role of district councils in growing the economy and improving communities.

“District councils, either alone or with their neighbours, are ways in which we will build better lives and bigger economies,” he said. “If we get that right then the government might recognise size is not everything.

“At the moment there is potential policy paralysis in Whitehall so there’s probably more opportunities for local based solutions than ever before.”

You can read more about Cllr Fuller’s priorities and views on key issues and policies affecting the sector here.

Cllr Fuller will be formally voted in as successor to current chair Neil Clarke, who is stepping down, at the Local Government Association conference which starts on 4 July.

Cllr Fuller praised Cllr Clarke for his role in raising the profile of districts but added “it’s my role now to take it to the next level”.

Meanwhile, voting to become the next Conservative group leader on the LGA is due to close on Thursday with the result expected soon after. That contest is between Kent CC leader and County Councils Network chair Paul Carter and Hillingdon LBC deputy leader David Simmonds.

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