BotterillCongratulations to Cllr Nick Botterill who has been chosen to be the new leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council. Nick was elected leader of the Conservative Group at our Group AGM last night and will officially become Leader of the Council at our next full council meeting on 30th May. Cllr Greg Smith has been chosen to be the Deputy Leader.

The current Council Leader, Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh said:

"It has been a great privilege to lead this Council for six years and I am sure that, if elected on May 30th, Nick will do a fantastic job of serving the residents of Hammersmith & Fulham."

Nick said:

"It has an honour and a privilege to be nominated to be Leader of not only the best council in London, but the best council in Britain."

The change  of leadership will certainly mean a different style. Cabinet Meetings under Stephen had the feel of that bit in The Apprentice where Alan Sugar calls the contestants into the boardroom to account for their performance. Having turned round Hammersmith and Fulham there is now a new London wide challenge for Stephen having been appointed by Boris Johnson as Deputy Mayor for Policing

Nick's tone is quieter, more emollient. But his strength and determination are immense. He set up  a child care business which employs hundreds of people. He has served as Deputy Leader of the Council since it was gained from Labour six years ago.

So while the tone will change the direction will be the same. Nick not only wants to maintain but to accelerate the pace of radical change that has seen lower Council Tax combined with improved services. In widening home ownership, extending parental choice, and fighting crime – as well as achieving greater value for money – the revolution will continue in this most trail blazing of boroughs.

Apparently we are David Cameron's favourite council, Ken Livingstone's least favourite and the apple of  Eric Pickles' eye. More to the point is that our residents like what we are doing.

We are just getting into our stride. The best days in Hammersmith and Fulham are yet to come.