Third man enters leadership race
A THIRD candidate is planning to enter the race to become leader of the Conservatives on Suffolk County Council.
Transport and Environment portfolio-holder Guy McGregor, who represents Hoxne and Eye, is bidding for the top job in a race with Colin Noble and Mark Bee.
Waveney council leader Mr Bee and adult and community services portfolio holder Mr Noble confirmed they would be standing at the weekend.
Mr McGregor is seen as the “third candidate” who could become the compromise choice to take over the helm at Endeavour House rather than one of the two other candidates who differ about the way forward.
He said he would be standing on his record as a portfolio holder – and on the principle of putting Suffolk first.
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“I think it is important that we stop and think what the people of Suffolk want before we start coming up with too many radical ideas.
“I would rather we ran the council as the people of Suffolk want it to be run rather than trying to impress ministers in London.”
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He said he would be emphasising the success his department had enjoyed in attracting new investment for projects such as the Ipswich transport strategy and rail investment during tough economic times.
Mr Bee’s supporters have already been trying to harvest support from councillors across the county and are upbeat about their man’s chances.
Mr Bee said: “I am meeting my colleagues and seem to be getting a positive response.”
He is expecting to get at least two members of the current cabinet to sign his nomination forms and his supporters expect more cabinet members to swing behind him.
Mr Noble has also been speaking to councillor colleagues in an attempt to get his views across. He said: “It is very important to talk to people and to explain what we are trying to do.
“I don’t think there is a problem with the New Strategic Direction as a principle, but I agree that we have not been very good at explaining what we are doing.
“When we actually talk about how we want to tailor services to what people want then usually people see the logic in what we are trying to do.”