St Albans Conservatives elect new leader
- Credit: Archant
St Albans Conservatives have elected a new leader following the tumultuous local election.
The long-standing Tory administration at St Albans district council (SADC) was ousted by the Liberal Democrats on May 2, which won 25 seats across the district and are now the largest party in this area.
However, 25 seats is just shy of the majority needed to pass decisions without cross-party support.
One of the councillors who lost their ward was Alec Campbell of St Peter's, who had served as Conservative leader of SADC since 2017.
Cllr Mary Maynard will now take his place as leader of the local party.
You may also want to watch:
She urged the Liberal Democrats to consider an all-party administration.
"People are deeply unhappy about Brexit," she said. "As a result, many voted for Brexit, not bins, and for a council where no party has a majority.
- 1 Far-right group condemns black Jesus painting at St Albans Cathedral
- 2 Crack dealers arrested at playing fields
- 3 Area Guide: Harpenden's vibrant Southdown neighbourhood
- 4 Six men charged with series of keyless vehicle thefts
- 5 “It’s behind you” – Beloved Bob Golding bids a fond farewell to Arena panto
- 6 May 17: What can open when COVID-19 lockdown rules ease
- 7 Drop-in COVID vaccine sessions available this week
- 8 Charter Market gazebos plan is fait accomplit says portfolio holder
- 9 New £250K play park to be built in Harpenden
- 10 May 17th: How one independent pub chain is coping
"Councillors now have a clear choice. Vote for a minority administration by one party and waste precious time disagreeing and squabbling, or vote to involve all parties, with each having a voice and all working together to deliver our residents' goals and aspirations.
"My preference is to work cooperatively and collaboratively to deliver a future where our district is a beacon in conserving our heritage and green spaces and treading lightly on the planet."
She is interested in building homes while maintaining the "leafy, green environment" and delivering infrastructure, keeping taxes down, and working together on projects such as a new football stadium and the River Ver clean-up.
Mary has been a councillor for five years, leading the development of the controversial Local Plan in her role as planning portfolio holder.
She praised former Cllr Campbell: "[He] worked hard for the council and his Conservative administration has left a legacy of low cost, first class council services, delivery of the first 100 below market rent houses in a generation, shared care facilities for the elderly, and new leisure centres."
Local Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Chris White said he is still in talks with other parties, but is reserving comment until the new administration is announced at a council meeting on Wednesday.