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UPDATE: Why I’m challenging Nick Daubney for the leadership of West Norfolk council

11:41 01 May 2012

Nick Daubney, who faced off a challenge for the leadership of West Norfolk council when ruling Conservatives met tonight. Picture: Ian Burt

Nick Daubney, who faced off a challenge for the leadership of West Norfolk council when ruling Conservatives met tonight. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2012

The councillor challenging Nick Daubney for the leadership of West Norfolk council today revealed his reasons why.

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Peter Cousins, ward councillor for Spellowfields, intends to stand against Mr Daubney when the authority’s ruling Conservative group meets behind closed doors on Thursday night.

Mr Cousins, who was elected at last year’s council elections, today said he was standing on a pledge to make the Conservative group on the council more open.

“It’s the democracy within the group that’s the problem,” he said. “This is an issue that’s been going on for a long time.”

Mr Cousins said he was opposed to the proposed Saddlebow incinerator - despite fears on the part of some Conservatives that he was in favour.

“If I am successful, the anti-incinerator stance will continue,” he said. “The challenge to Councillor Daubney is for other reasons within the Conservative group. It’s politics within the group.

“Any pro-incinerator candidate who tried to win the leadership of the Conservative group in West Norfolk would have no chance whatsoever.”

Mr Cousins added he believed the borough and county councils needed to work more closely together.

“Any borough councillor should be in communication with the county council,” he said. “The county provides 80pc of the funding in the borough.

“The incinerator isn’t the only issue. Having a rapport with county is a necessity. It’s like a family, you can argue about one thing but other issues you co-operate on.”

Yesterday, Mr Daubney said: “I believe I’ve led the group very successfully for five years. We are one of the country’s most efficient councils, we’ve kept the council tax down, we’ve done well in growth and business and I’m proud of what we’ve done. I’m astonished people want to change direction.”

Conservatives control 42 of the 62 seats on the council. Seven of those are held by so-called twin-hatters, who sit on both the district and county councils.

Deputy leader Brian Long also faces a challenge on Thursday night.

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