Husband and wife become leader and chairman of the same council

PUBLISHED: 17:37 22 May 2019 | UPDATED: 17:39 22 May 2019

Shaun and Karen Vincent, leader and chairman of Broadland District Council. Picture: Broadland Conservatives/Denise Bradley

Shaun and Karen Vincent, leader and chairman of Broadland District Council. Picture: Broadland Conservatives/Denise Bradley


A husband and wife serving on the same council is a fairly regular occurrence - as many of Norfolk’s demonstrate.

However, in a rarer case, Broadland District Council will have a married couple as its leader and chairman for the next year,.

At Broadland's annual meeting on Tuesday, Karen Vincent succeeded Judy Leggett as chairman of the council - a post she had been next in line for since last May.

At the same meeting, Shaun Vincent, her husband, was re-elected leader of the council - a post he took on in July 2018 after predecessor Andrew Proctor became leadership at Norfolk County Council.

Mrs Vincent, who represents Old Catton and Sprowston West, said: "Neither of us expected or planned to have the roles at the same time - it is just a coincidence it has happened this way.

"It is quite early days to see how it works out but I think it will definitely be an interesting time."

Mrs Vincent, who has been a councillor since 2015, said the pair do not find it difficult to separate their careers from their home lives.

She added: "We try not to bring politics home with us - we try to focus on our own lives and hobbies in what spare time we do get.

"Since Shaun has been leader we do sometimes find ourselves like ships in the night though."

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The meeting confirmed Mr Vincent will continue as leader, however, in the local election he came within just 22 votes of losing his seat on the council altogether.

He said: "The future of Broadland is bright and we have a group of new and returning councillors who are full of passion and desire to meet the challenges head on, and continue to put the community at the heart of everything we do."

Meanwhile, Mr Vincent also selected the six councillors who will be joining his cabinet, naming four new members.

The cabinet is as follows:

- Shaun Vincent: leader and policy

- Trudy Mancini-Boyle: deputy leader and finance

- Jo Copplestone: economic development

- Judy Leggett: environmental excellence

- Fran Whymark: housing and wellbeing

- Lana Hempsell: planning

- Jonathan Emsell: transformation and organisational development.

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