Election 2017: County council leader is preparing to put final touches to new top team

Deputy county council leader Jane Storey. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Deputy county council leader Jane Storey. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

After last week’s county council elections, the shape of the strengthened Conservative administration at Suffolk County Council should start to emerge this week.

Local elections 2017

Local elections 2017 - Credit: Archant

The party’s majority at the authority shot up to 29 after the Tories won 52 of the 75 seats at Endeavour House.

The enlarged group will hold its annual meeting on Tuesday to elect a leader, deputy leader, group chair and candidate for council chair.

Current group leader Colin Noble is expected to stand again in a bid to put to the party’s policies into action. It is not thought likely that he will be challenged this year – especially after the party’s election success.

Jane Storey is standing again as deputy leader, and said she was looking forward to the next year at the authority: “I hope I am nominated. I would like to carry on. I think Colin and I work well together.”

She said there could be changes to enhance the role of councillors who were not in the cabinet: “There is a working party looking at ways of involving councillors more in the development of council policies. I am looking forward to seeing how that develops.”

The exact make-up of the cabinet is not usually unveiled until the annual meeting of the council on May 25. All the current cabinet members were re-elected to the authority and there are not expected to be widespread changes.

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Framlingham councillor Stephen Burroughes was deputy chairman of Suffolk County Council last year and would be expected to take over the chairmanship this year.

The deputy chairman for this year could be new Bosmere councillor Anne Whybrow. She had been due to be take the chair in 2013 but lost her Stowmarket seat by one vote. She has now returned to the authority and may be given a chance to take on the chairmanship in 12 months’ time.

Away from the county council, it is also the start of the new municipal year for district and borough councils across Suffolk and there is a major change due to take place at Waveney Council.

Former county council leader Mark Bee is expected to be confirmed as that authority’s new leader on Monday evening.

That will put Mr Bee in pole position to lead the new East Suffolk council which is due to be formed in 2019.