Cllr-Shooter Cllr Mark Shooter explains why is going ahead with his leadership challenge

I have decided to formally hand in my nomination paper to challenge the leader of the Conservative Group, Cllr Lynne Hillan.

Too many mistakes have been made since her ill fated decision to raise her allowance and those of key members of the cabinet.

Her u-turn resulted from pressure from the local media, the public and her colleagues in the council, but it has come far too late. She has already inflicted enormous damage on the Conservative Group. Her credibility has been lost and her reputation tarnished.

Given the state of the public finances she should not have tried to increase allowances in this way. At a time of unprecedented austerity this has been a major distraction from the job of running the council effectively.

It is obvious that once she was made aware that I had gained support for my leadership bid, she immediately backtracked in a desperate attempt to hold on to power.

Barnet Council needs leadership that is not preoccupied with increasing its own pay and bullying members in the name of democracy. It needs to rebuild its reputation and regain trust with the electorate, central
government and with Council employees.

I believe that I can achieve these objectives, and it is for these reasons that I will contest the leadership of Barnet Council.

Here are my six priorities:

  • Effective leadership
  • Transparency in information and decision making
  • Positive engagement with the public
  • Active participation of Councillors in the decision making process
  • Prioritising value for money, improving efficiency and stabilising the council’s finances
  • Aligning Barnet’s strategies with national initiatives

I want to use my business skills and experience to lead a fresh and innovative, forward thinking administration.  I recognise that this is a very challenging time for the public sector and that many difficult decisions will have to be taken.

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