Suffolk: Two-horse race to be leader of county council

TWO firm candidates have emerged in the race to become the new leader of Suffolk County Council.

Portfolio holder for adult and community services Colin Noble has been seen as the favourite for the role over recent months as he has taken on a wider role extolling the virtues of the council’s policies.

He confirmed he would be standing for the leadership following Jeremy Pembroke’s announcement last week that he would not be seeking re-election at his party’s annual general meeting later this month.Mr Noble is set to be joined on the ballot paper by Beccles councillor Mark Bee, who is also leader of Waveney District Council.

Mr Bee has led Waveney for seven years and is also chairman of Suffolk County Council’s scrutiny committee.

Two other cabinet members are still considering their positions.

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Deputy leader Jane Storey and children and young people’s spokesman Graham Newman are talking to friends and colleagues to judge whether they would have enough support to mount a realistic challenge.

The election for the new leader will take place at the county council’s annual general meeting on April 18. Nominations for the post close on April 15.

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It will be run by senior Conservative Party agent Peter Burgoyne – and will be the first contested election for group leadership that most councillors can remember.

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