Mark Bee for Suffolk County Council Leader

Mark Bee outside Oulton Broad Library
Today 54 Tory members of Suffolk County Council make a crucial decision on behalf of the other 750 000 or so residents of Suffolk when they choose a new leader for the Council following the "retirement" of Jeremy Pembroke.

Ironically they are apparently using the exhaustive ballot system to choose the leader (bit like, erm Alternative Vote) but we will brush over that and look at the three candidates.

Colin Noble, cabinet member for Adult and Community Services is the "heir apparent" and has been leading many meetings about the new strategic direction. He, like Andrew Lansley on the NHS, thinks the problem is presentation but that the new strategic direction is basically the right idea. Like Lansley he is wrong. Well half wrong as the presentation admittedly has been as bad as the underlying idea.

Guy McGregor is Transport and Planning Cabinet member and now, apparently, feels the County Council should be listening more to the people of Suffolk and not trying to impress Government ministers. He has kept this view very quiet over the last few months and seemed happy to support the closure of libraries, refuse tips and withdraw the eXplore card from teenagers.

Mark Bee is Scrutiny Committee Chairman but not on the Cabinet. He is, however, leader of Waverney District Council. He is the "outsider" and seems to offer the most hope of a new direction and I do NOT mean a new strategic direction! On Saturday when I met him outside Oulton Broad Library he promised to "work from the inside" to help save libraries. Not heard that from Noble or McGregor. He seemed quite impressive as he "rescued" Peter Aldous MP who appeared unsure and weak compared to Bee who was confident and assured.

I don't get a vote in this decision but if I did I would be casting it for Mark Bee. We should hear at lunchtime who has this space!!
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