By Jonathan Isaby
Following the decision by Conservative-run Barnet Council to considerably increase councillors' allowances – a move which was then abandoned – Cllr Mark Shooter proceeded to mount a leadership challenge against Council Leader Lynne Hillan.
I now learn that at the Barnet Conservative group's AGM on Tuesday night at Hendon Town Hall, Cllr Hillan saw off the challenge and was re-elected as leader by her colleagues.
Cllr Hillan reacted to the vote by saying:
“I would like to thank my colleagues in the Conservative group for placing their confidence in me. We must now go forward as a united administration group to tackle the challenges that face this council and our residents in these tough economic times.”
"We have a huge agenda ahead of us and we have to reduce our budget by 25 per cent over the next three years so we have got an awful lot to do and I will concentrate on that now."
Cllr Shooter responded by saying:
“I am happy to say that I will support unity and work with the group for the sake of the people of Barnet. Obviously I am disappointed after receiving tremendous support. I would like to thank my supporters but I accept the decision as being fully democratic. I will do my part to get behind the group and make sure the authority and the councillors do the best for the borough.”
“I think I can be proud of what I achieved. I believe the leader has now listened and I hope we can go forward without similar decisions being taken in future. I don't see myself as a black sheep. I was a voice of a section of the group but I fully accept the decision so there is no reason for me to be considered a black sheep. I will remain extremely vocal of issues I feel need to be raised and represent my ward first and foremost.”