St Albans council leader speaks out after announcing he’s stepping down

Cllr Julian Daly has stepped down as council leader.

Cllr Julian Daly has stepped down as council leader. - Credit: Archant

The leader of St Albans council has spoken out after the surprise revelation that he would be stepping down from the role this week.

Cllr Julian Daly announced that would be leaving his role as council leader on Tuesday following six years in the role, during which time he was overseen the new museum project and the Strategic Local Plan (SLP).

He has since expressed his hope that the SLP would come closer to completion next month, when a decision is made on whether it will go to judicial review following the council’s legal challenge against a damning report by the planning inspector.

Cllr Daly said: “The parties have been working closely together. The Labour and Lib Dem representatives are continuing [on the SLP].”

He cited the additional workload and time which was required of the leader as a reason for stepping down.

But said he was willing to stay on both in the cabinet and on the planning policy committee.

The committee is one of the most important on the council as it makes recommendations to the Cabinet about the SLP.

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The cabinet was due to decided by the new council leader following his election at a full council meeting last night.

Cllr Alec Campbell has already been elected leader of the Conservative group, and has been proposed as the new council leader.

Cllr Daly is also leaving to spend more time with the company he has managed during his time as leader.

He said: “Our business is close to double the size it was when I became leader.

“This means I will no longer be able to invest the huge amount of time needed to do the job the way I choose to do it. I need to reduce my council time commitment.”

He highlighted the achievements the council has had in his time as leader.

These include new leisure centres at Westminster Lodge and Batchwood, zero council tax increases over the last eight years, and the delivery of sheltered housing projects for older people.

Cllr Daly said it had been a “pleasure working collaboratively” with councillors and officers.