Power shake-up for local politics

A NUMBER of high-profile changes at the head of the East Lindsey District Council have resulted in the majority Conservative group taking full control.

At the annual meeting, they seized all eight posts on the executive board – in the process ejecting three Independents.

Coun Doreen Stephenson (North Thoresby) was re-elected leader while Coun Stephen Newton (Horncastle) will take the deputy leader position.

The other six members are Coun Victoria Ayling (Stickford), Coun John Upsall (Wainfleet & Friskney), Coun Sandra Harrison (Saltfleetby), Coun Adam Grist (Legbourne), Coun Craig Leyland (Woodhall Spa) and newcomer to the council Coun William Gray (Roughton).

But there are no places for the three Independent councillors who up until this month’s local elections had been long-serving board members – joint deputy council leader Coun Jeremy Webb (Alford), Coun Ed Mossop (Marshchapel) and Coun Brian Burnett (Binbrook).

Also sacrificing their positions on the board are two Tories – Coun Dick Edginton, because he was elected chairman of the council, and Coun Neil Cooper (Burgh-le-Marsh) who has become chairman of Lincolnshire County Council, one of three other councils on which he also serves.

The size of the executive board has been reduced from 10 to eight in an initiative aimed at cutting back £15,000 of costs in special responsibility and travel allowances.