Waveney District Council

Colin Law is new leader

Published on 25th May 2011

Colin Law

Conservative Colin Law has been elected Leader of Waveney District Council at the authority's Annual Meeting, held this evening in the Council Chamber at the Town Hall.

Cllr Colin Law will now form a Conservative-led administration to run the Council following tonight's vote. In a speech to Members following his election, Cllr Law said:

"May I start by saying what a very great honour and a privilege it is to be elected Leader of Waveney District Council. I accept the post, and the responsibilities it brings, with great humility and great determination to succeed.

"I would first like to pay tribute to the outgoing Leader Mark Bee who has led this Council through some difficult but also some good times. During an eventful seven years he has always conducted himself with purpose and dignity, refusing to allow the difficult times to deflect him from his vision for the future of Waveney.

"It has been a real privilege to work alongside him as Deputy Leader, and the authority is now in a much better place thanks to his stewardship. He will now bring these qualities to Suffolk County Council as their new leader. I wish him well for the future and look forward as Leader of WDC to a long and continued association. And - of course - I am sure he will continue to work with us as an active back bencher. Good luck Mark!

"And so, to tonight. I appreciate that this year's District elections have been anything but straightforward. However I would like to assure this council, and the communities of Waveney, that I will work harder than I've ever worked before to ensure this Council's improvement journey continues.

"I want to ensure that we remain recognised as a high-performing authority and a benchmark for other councils. The previous Conservative Administration managed its finances so well, it had no need to cut any frontline services at the last budget. Therefore, in many ways, it will be business as usual here at Waveney.

"But I will certainly not be resting on my laurels. From today, I will roll my sleeves up and live and breathe the role of a full-time, hands-on Leader. I am determined to settle for nothing but the best for Waveney and its communities. I will be a listening Leader, determined to learn from the people of Waveney, ensuring we deliver what is in their best interests. I will visit the rural and urban communities to further understand their issues and their aspirations. Waveney solutions for Waveney issues.

"Naturally, this administration will lead from the front and we will not hesitate to do what we believes is right. But I will always have an open mind and an open door to deal with the issues that arise. My Cabinet team will blend experience - to maintain continuity - with new faces who I am sure will bring in fresh ideas and impetus.

"Each of them though will understand that our number one priority is to ensure that the needs of our most vulnerable citizens are met and that we continue to deliver services which they want and need. We must continue to build on the excellent performance ratings we have received from our tenants and make sure that the voices of those hardest to hear are not ignored.

"This is a diverse district - urban and rural, affluent and deprived, and this administration will not let its communities down. Additionally, I look forward to close working relations with Members on all sides of the Chamber. I congratulate Cllr Swainson on his appointment as Labour Group Lead and I look forward to an era of healthy, constructive and grown-up politics here in Waveney.

"I do appreciate that Labour came extremely close to taking control of the Council and I do appreciate that the Conservatives took a hit here in Waveney. If there are lessons to be learned, we will learn them. The Conservative and Labour group will never agree on everything and there will be many things that we will take very different views on. However I look forward to rigorous and healthy political debate, all focused on one objective: improving the lives of Waveney communities.

"Thank you once again, for affording me this very great honour. I stand before you tonight as a humble and proud man, fulfilling a very great ambition. I look forward to four fantastic, successful years and I cannot wait to get started."

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