With the new administration officially in place as of last night, reactions are trickling in from Southend’s political blogosphere. On the left, Julian Ware-Lane has said his piece, whilst on the right Nigel Holdcroft, Mark Flewitt and Tony Cox have weighed in. For myself, I have blogged a twice now on the joint administration arrangement; once before last night’s vote and once after.
Shoeburyness Independent councillor, Anne Chalk, has yet to blog about the deal. That isn’t altogether surprising. Her blogging is a spasmodic affair, going months at times without a post and then a flood of updates at once. A cynic might note that her most recent blogging surge coincided quite neatly with the local elections.
The first meeting of the new council has happened, and the vote for leader has been cast. Congratulations to the new leader of Southend Borough Council, Councillor Ron Woodley.
The actual votes were as follows:
Cllr Woodley (IND) 31
Cllr Lamb (CON) – 18
Absence – 1
Abstention – 1
The abstention was the mayor, and the absence was Labour’s Cllr Royston, who is still recovering from an operation. All five UKIP councillors backed Cllr Woodley, which is mildly surprising. They aren’t a part of the joint administration, and I had wondered if James Moyies would be a little bitter at the failure of his pact with the Independent Party Group. It’s actually a bit unfair to blame that on the Indies — it actually comes down to lacking the numbers.
But the result means that the joint administration has taken power, and there is a now a whole new executive team in place.