Fresh challenge for council leader

PUBLISHED: 13:31 25 May 2006 | UPDATED: 14:42 12 May 2010

Cllr F John Smith

Cllr F John Smith

LONG-standing councillor F John Smith has been re-elected as leader of North Herts District Council. Cllr Smith, who represents the Royston Meridian ward, has been leader of the district council since the Tories regained control in 1999. As leader of the

Cllr Clare Strong

LONG-standing councillor F John Smith has been re-elected as leader of North Herts District Council.

Cllr Smith, who represents the Royston Meridian ward, has been leader of the district council since the Tories regained control in 1999.

As leader of the council he will take on the role, too, as chairman of the Cabinet and represent the council on the East of England Assembly.

The deputy leader will be Cllr Terry Hone.

Cllr Fiona Hill

The Labour group on the district council had created a shadow Cabinet which will be led by Cllr David Kearns.

The role of chairman of district council's Royston area committee will be taken on by Cllr Fiona Hill, who will replace Bill Davidson who lost his Palace ward seat at the elections earlier this month.

Cllr Howard Marshall, who represents the North Herts rural area, will be vice-chairman.

Ashwell's district councillor Andrew Young will take charge of the policy portfolio on the Cabinet.

The council's new chairman will be Cllr Clare Strong, who has been a member of the council for the past 11 years.

One of her particular interests on the council had been the environment. "I am aware of maintaining and appreciating the countryside we have," she said.

Cllr Strong continued that she would like to believe that she could be in a position to "defend" the Green Belt and rural communities.

Cllr Strong succeeds Cllr Lynda Needham, who said that during the past 12 months she had attended almost 200 events and had helped raise cash for her charity, the Garden House Hospice in Letchworth.

Cllr Needham said she was "amazed" by the number of voluntary organisations around.

One example, she said, was the Red Cross in Herts which sent 50 ambulances at the time of the London bombings. "I didn't even know they had 50 ambulances here," she said.

Cllr Needham said of the past 12 months: "I would not have missed it for the world, it's been such an eye-opener.

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