Conservatives have new leader at Town Hall

Town Hall (photo: reigate.uk)

 

Conservative councillors at Reigate & Banstead have elected Cllr Mark Brunt as group leader, at a meeting on Tuesday (8 May).

Confirming his election, Cllr Brunt told reigate.uk that the former group leader, Victor Broad, had decided not to stand this time in the annual process the Tories use.

Reigate.uk doesn’t know who the other candidate(s) were in the election.

Cllr Brunt confirmed he also intends to stand for council leader at the annual council meeting on 24 May – a position he’s almost certain to get: other candidates could be put up, but the Tories control 40 of the 51 seats.

Until then, the position is that Cllr Brunt is leader of the Conservative group, but Cllr Broad remains leader of the council, a role he’s had since 2014.

Cllr Brunt, a ward councillor for Merstham, said of his election:

“Being elected as the leader of my group of 40 councillors is a great responsibility and I am delighted to have their support in this role.

We have been joined this year by a group of enthusiastic new councillors and my first priority as Group Leader is to ensure that they have all the support that they need in establishing themselves in their new roles in their wards and at the council.”

Cllr Brunt made clear that his remarks related to his role as group leader, and not any future position as council leader.

Cllr Brunt was previously leader of the group (but not the council) 2008-2012.  Since 2012 he’s served as chair of the borough’s planning committee, which he will now give up.

Looking ahead, and assuming Cllr Brunt does become leader of the council, under the council’s “strong leader” model he’ll have the role of selecting the council’s executive.   Unsurprisingly, he wouldn’t be drawn on any comment on that process.

One forced change however is in the housing and infrastructure portfolio, executive member Rita Renton having lost her Earlswood & Whitebushes seat to the Greens.

 

 

Council photo of Cllr Mark Brunt

 

Article amended 13 and 14 May.

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