Congratulations to Cllr Sir Merrick Cockell, the leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council, who is to become the new Chairman of the Local Government Association. I gather he defeated his rival for the Conservative nomination, Leicestershire County Council leader Cllr David Parsons, by a clear margin. As the Conservatives are the largest group in the LGA he will take over as Chairman from Baroness Eaton.
Merrick has pledged to make the LGA more transparent and to provide better value for money. His arrival should also herald a more constructive relationship with the Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.
South Holland Council leader Cllr Gary Porter takes over from Cllr David Shakespeare as Leader of the Conservative Group on the LGA. The new Deputy Group Leader is Cllr Andrew Lewer
As leader of K&C, Merrick presides over a Council with the third lowest Council Tax in the country. He will face a big challenge at the LGA with a large numeer of councils having put in their notice – or considering doing so.
"I was delighted by such widespread support from all tiers and all regions," he tells me.
The full list of Conservative candidates is here.