New leader makes a bee line for Suffolk County Council
Suffolk County Councillor Mark Bee has today been elected as leader of the council.
In his acceptance speech, Mr Bee signalled a clear change in direction for the County Council.
Speaking about the New Strategic Direction he said: 'I do not believe the NSD as a concept has connected with the people of Suffolk, some politicians, partner organisations or indeed many of our staff.
'The people of Suffolk expect to be listened to and cared about.
'I am clear that my leadership will not be about a philosophy, it will be about – listening to the people of Suffolk, openness and transparency and practical solutions appropriate to the needs of a community.'
Mr Bee, of the Beccles division, outlined clear examples of this change including school crossing patrols, libraries, household waste recycling sites and country parks.
Within the speech Mr Bee talked of the challenges facing the council, including savings of �125m over 4 years, environmental issues, an ageing population and the need to improve broadband access for the people of Suffolk.
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He said 'We must do this with the minimum impact possible on front line service.'
'We currently have an excellent cabinet with a wealth of experience and a record of achievement.
It is therefore my intention to retain the current cabinet members in their existing roles.'
However there will however be one enforced change as Colin Law was elected leader of Waveney District Council last night and has therefore stepped down from the cabinet.
Mr Law's skills and economic development portfolio will be merged with the greenest county portfolio with Judy Terry as portfolio holder.
Mr Bee closed his speech by talking about real Conservative values, the importance of listening and the need to keep Suffolk special for generations to come.