Former MP takes over at county council

STEVE DOWNES A former MP who was first elected to Norfolk County Council in 1966 was last night appointed as its chairman on a day of musical chairs at County Hall.

STEVE DOWNES

A former MP who was first elected to Norfolk County Council in 1966 was last night appointed as its chairman on a day of musical chairs at County Hall.

Michael Carttiss, former Tory MP for Yarmouth, steps up from vice chairman to take over the civic role from outgoing chairman Patrick Hacon.

The new vice chairman, elected at yesterday's full council meeting, is Wyndham Northam, Conservative member for Mundesley, who joined the council in 2001.

Mr Northam's move from cabinet member for fire and community protection has triggered a minor reshuffle by new leader Daniel Cox.

Richard Rockcliffe has moved from economic development to fire and community protection, with Christopher How joining the cabinet for the first time as member for economic development.

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Mr Carttiss, 69, was a councillor from 1966-1985 and was re-elected to represent East Flegg in 2001, four years after losing his parliamentary seat to Labour's Tony Wright. Boundary changes mean he now represents West Flegg.

He said: "Serving the whole of Norfolk has been my principal interest in life and I'm looking forward to pursuing this further as chairman of the county council."

Mr Cox pointed out that Mr Carttiss was on the council before he himself was born, and added: "He has never been one to say just a few words when many will suffice, but I consider all his words to be wise words."

Mr Carttiss is a former chairman of the education committee from 1982-85, chairman of the joint museums committee from 1981-85 and was recently chairman of the council's health overview and scrutiny committee.

He was MP for Yarmouth from 1983 to 1997.

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