The Chronicle has given all five candidates a platform to make their cases for succeeding Sir Simon Milton, who has joined Boris Johnson’s inner circle. As the largest group in local government the LGA Chair has to be a Conservative.
The five candidates are (with key sections of their pitches):
- Margaret Eaton, Bradford City MDC: "The LGA is a cross-party organisation. Most of my political life has
been spent in ‘hung’ councils with highly charged politics. In such
circumstances, productive work can take place only if good
relationships are maintained in spite of political differences."
- Gordon Keymer, Tandridge DC: "During my chairmanship I would concentrate on bringing the leaders of
all types of authorities into the work of the LGA with the aim of
strengthening and uniting local government to increase its role and
- Lee Martin, Sunderland City Council: "Throughout the 1990s Sir Jeremy Beecham, as chairman of the LGA, was
a vocal opponent of the policies of the then-Conservative government
and played an important role in Labour’s 1997 election victory. A
decade on, we must ensure that Gordon Brown cannot use the time between
now and the general election to further entrench the misguided ideas
and policies of this worn-out Labour government."
- Keith Mitchell, Oxfordshire CC: "Local government needs to speak with a single, strong and united voice.
We are much better at service delivery; much more joined up in how we
work and hugely more efficient than much of central government. The LGA
chairman must speak for all parties and all types of council to hammer
home this message. If elected, I pledge to do that."
- Stephen Parnaby, East Riding of Yorkshire Council: "I am a believer that the local government family should work together
and that, while there will always be differences of opinion, we need to
speak with one voice irrespective of political ideology. This is
crucial in maintaining the credible relationship that the LGA has with
central government but only possible with a strong credible chairman
leading from the front. I have the ability to fulfil this role."