New Leader – Let the Cat fight Begin

News came late last week that Cllr Neil Burden was standing down as the ‘Independent Group’ Leader. To be honest I was quite surprised that this happened now, after all, there have been calls for him to go before from within the Group. For me personally I have never thought that the Group Leader should also be part of the administration leadership, i.e. a Cabinet Member. I have always said this from the beginning when we all got first elected to Cornwall Council. The reason comes down to which loyalty comes first, either the group, or the Cabinet. I really don’t think you can serve both roles at the same time.

Now with Neil gone he can now concentrate on his large Portfolio, Children’s, Schools and Families. This Portfolio is in my opinion one of the hardest roles to do. It covers so much and if something goes wrong it normally results in headline news. The Children’s services side is still under Government ‘review’,  but has made great moves forward under some clear direction.

In the New Year, the Indi Group will meet to decide who takes over the role of chief cat herder. My fellow Cornwall Councillor Blogger, Jeremy Rowe has posted a good article (HERE) that has some kind words about me. Even on Twitter other fellow Councillors said I should throw my hat into the ring, but I think there was more of a mischievous smile behind those comments than anything else. I can state here and now that I won’t be standing for a few reasons including my struggle with the term Independent Group.

So who out of the other 30 people within the Group is likely to stand? That is in itself a good question and with no firm and clear answers.  John Wood is probably the front runner since the announcement. For me, he would make a good candidate. Mike Clayton is the current Deputy Leader, so he might make a claim to the role by being de-facto Deputy. There is also Pam Lyne, Bert Biscoe and Mike Varney who might think about it, but to be honest I think they all would lack the overall support to allow them to claim the title. Another good choice would be John Pollard, but I doubt he would be willing to take on this difficult role of chief cat-herder. Then again another one of the Portfolio Holders might stand, but for me they would not have my support for the reasons I have stated before.

Graham Smith of BBC fame has also blogged about this. You can read about it by clicking HERE, but I think his view on a split Indi Group is doubtful to happen. I do worry about outside interference and certain people wanting as Jeremy makes comment on his blog, a more ‘corporate’ Leader. If this were to happen, then many within the Group are not going to take this interference well.

I guess its going to be a wait and see exercise to discover who will canvas within the Group to seek support prior to making a decision to stand. I think this has the potentional to throw up a few surprises along the way.

7 comments

  • Anonymous

    As the Independent Group normally line up behind the Conservative Group when it comes to voting on major issues why not adopt the current Conservative Leader as your leader?

  • Anonymous

    You are too modest Andy,you would make a great leader,your fellow cllrs think highly of you,the people of Helston know what a great job you do,you would be fantastic,please stand…

  • Anonymous

    Well said,Andy I love reading you blog,it gives a unique insight into your work and its clear you are totally didicated and would make a great leader,we want someone with your drive and obvious intelligence,please stand,sadly You arent my cllr bit I wish you were…

  • Anonymous

    Andy if ever there was an independent cllr its you,never afraid to say what you think or worry what people might think,youve really helped on Bulwark and I only wish there were more like you,you owe it to the people of helston (and porthleven ) to stand.

  • Anonymous

    Why wont you stand Andy? youd be great,if we did a petition ,would that make you stand,with the cuts and dfficult things going on,Cornwall needs a strong Indy Leader…

  • Anonymous

    I would sign a petition ,as I'm sure many other people in Helston would,Ive heard Andy speak and he gets his message across in a way no other cllr does,he isnt afraid who he upsets if he thinks its right,he says it,please stand,Cornwall needs you…

  • Anonymous

    I hope Andy does stand,just as I hope he stands as an MP,can you imagine the pride the people of West Cornwall would feel every time he sttod up in Parliament or gave an interview,we would know he was fighting for us,not following a party line,doing what was right,hed be a breath of fresh air,after the fantastic work hes done on parking he would make a great transport minister.

Please feel free to leave a comment to the post, as I like to hear your views! However, comments that do not meet the rules of the site (found in Blog Disclaimer) will not be published. Furthermore, all comment need to be approved by admin before publication.