Two head-to-head in lead­er­ship race

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - KAREN BRIT­TON

ATWO-HORSE race is un­der­way to de­cide the next leader of Cheshire East coun­cil.

Con­ser­va­tive Cab­i­net mem­bers Rachel Bai­ley and Janet Clowes are go­ing head to head in the hope of re­plac­ing Michael Jones as the next leader of Cheshire East af­ter he an­nounced his res­ig­na­tion last month.

Cur­rent deputy leader David Brown also threw his hat into the ring when nom­i­na­tions ended last Fri­day (Jan­uary 8) but he an­nounced yes­ter­day that he was pulling out to leave a clean fight be­tween coun­cil­lors Bai­ley and Clowes.

The two re­main­ing can­di­dates will have been look­ing for sup­port from their Con­ser­va­tive col­leagues this week ahead of a party meet­ing to­mor­row (Thurs­day) when the next leader of the Con­ser­va­tive group will be picked.

This is ahead of the full Coun­cil meet­ing on Thurs­day, Fe­bru­ary 25 when all 82 Cheshire East coun­cil­lors will vote on who will be the next coun­cil leader, but as the ma­jor­ity group the Con­ser­va­tives have the ma­jor say.

Janet Clowes said she wants to bring ‘far more open­ness and trans­parency’ in the coun­cil.

Coun Bai­ley said: “I

will be­lieve I can bring sta­bil­ity and con­nec­tiv­ity within the group.”

The lead­er­ship race comes af­ter Coun Jones an­nounced his res­ig­na­tion last month.

On pulling out of the lead­er­ship race, coun David Brown told the Ex­press: “Michael Jones re­signed to try and en­sure unity in the part.

“He didn’t want a bat­tle of blue on blue and part of my de­ci­sion is to con­fer with that and move for­ward.

“I’m deputy leader and will con­tinue to be.

“If I’d have got in as leader there would have to be an­other elec­tion for deputy.

“With elec­tions, peo­ple start get­ting into groups and fac­tions.

“Now it’s a straight fight be­tween the two fe­male can­di­dates.

“It will be de­ci­sive, a cleaner fight, I would split the votes.

“It’s far cleaner to have a straight lead­er­ship race and I can carry on as deputy and we can get on with the job.

“Part of my role is high­ways and there are lots of cru­cial in­fra­struc­ture projects at crit­i­cal times. The new leader will have my full back­ing.”

l● Cheshire East Coun­cil’s head­quar­ters. The role of coun­cil leader be­came va­cant with the res­ig­na­tion of Michael Jones, in­set

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