All change at council helm

By David LennardTHE new leader of Waveney District Council will be Mark Bee, a former Mayor of Beccles.Mr Bee has been elected leader of the Conservative group on the local authority and his position as Leader of the Council will be confirmed at a full council meeting to be held on Thursday.

By David Lennard

THE new leader of Waveney District Council will be Mark Bee, a former Mayor of Beccles.

Mr Bee has been elected leader of the Conservative group on the local authority and his position as Leader of the Council will be confirmed at a full council meeting to be held on Thursday.

The Conservatives strengthened their control of the district council at the elections held earlier this month and now hols 24 of the 48 seats.


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It was never in doubt that once again the Tories would form the new administration, and they will look to support from the seven Independents and three Liberal Democrats. Labour will provide the stiffest opposition for the Conservatives with 14 councillors.

Wendy Mawer, who represents the villages around Halesworth on the council and is a member of the executive, has been elected deputy leader of the Conservative group and of the council.

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The changes were necessary because former Conservative group leader, Peter Austin, lost his Southwold seat in the elections.

Mr Bee said he was looking forward to the challenges ahead. "We are a united Conservative group and we are looking to move forward in a positive way. We have asked a member of the Independent group and the Lib-Dems to join us on the council's executive," he added.

The Labour group on the council has also had to make changes as their leader, David Jermy, also lost his Bungay seat at the June 10 elections.

Former leader Brian Hunter has once again been elected to head the Labour opposition on the council and he will be supported by joint deputy leaders Sally Spore and David Thomas.

"I am very pleased to be leader of such an experienced group of Labour councillors," said Mr Hunter. "We will look carefully at what the Conservative-led administration is proposing and will continually be working for what we believe is in the best interests of everyone living in Waveney."

The first full meeting of Waveney District Council since the elections will also appoint a new chairman on Thursday. It is widely expected that current chairman, Sandra Keller, from Oulton Broad, will be appointed for a second year.

Meanwhile, Mr Jermy has not ruled out standing as a candidate in future elections. "Whilst I am disappointed that I was not re-elected to my own seat, it has been an honour and privilege to represent Bungay on the district council," he said.

"I hope that one day in the not too distant future I will be able to serve the town as their district councillor to ensure that the voice of Bungay is not lost in the corridors of power in Lowestoft's Town Hall.

"I will still be working hard for the people of Bungay as an elected Bungay town councillor."

david.lennard@eadt.co.uk

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