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County Council leader sees off challenge to plan administration

PUBLISHED: 20:01 07 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:01 06 July 2010

Norfolk County Council leader Daniel Cox will set about forming his new administration this week after comfortably seeing off at leadership challenge.

Mr Cox beat off a rival bid for his job by Breckland leader William Nunn at the party's annual meeting on Saturday.

Norfolk County Council leader Daniel Cox will set about forming his new administration this week after comfortably seeing off a leadership challenge.

Mr Cox beat off a rival bid for his job from Breckland leader William Nunn at the party's annual meeting on Saturday.

The Tories secured a landslide victory in Thursday's council elections winning 60 seats, with the Lib Dems in second place with 13, the Greens up to seven and Labour slumping to fourth place on three seats and UKIP with one.

And the new 60-strong Tory group gave its blessing to Mr Cox to carry on leading them, while his challenger said he would not be seeking a cabinet seat because he wanted to focus on securing the nomination for the South-West Norfolk seat after Christopher Fraser's decision to stand down. Mr Cox will now spend the coming days putting together his new administration and fleshing out policies which could see closer working with other councils and public services such as Norfolk police and Norfolk NHS as part of a bid to drive down back-office costs.

"I was very pleased to get the continued support of the new group and very much look forward to continuing to lead Norfolk County Council," he said. "I'm still working on the new cabinet. There is a huge amount of talent in the group after Thursday's elections and I've got to consider who is able to come in.

"There's at least three cabinet positions to fill and it's also about putting in the right review panel chairmen who play a crucial role in policy challenge and development."

But he said despite the massive Tory majority, he intended to continue the policy of letting the main opposition party, now the Lib Dems, to chair the scrutiny committee.

Mr Nunn said he had no regrets about standing against Mr Cox and said the County Hall Conservative group was now "fully behind" the man at the helm.

"I am not disappointed," said Mr Nunn. "It was right and proper for Daniel to have a challenge at the start of the term to show the rest of the group that he is the appointed leader of the group. I am happy that he won because he can now take the group forward united.

"I have made it clear that I want my name to be put forward for the South West Norfolk seat. I stood last time but withdrew from the selection after talking it through with my family. At the time my children were nine and seven and I felt to leave them when I would have to live in London was not right. They are now teenagers and spending less time at home and it gives me more freedom to represent South West Norfolk."

Other names said to be interested in succeeding Mr Fraser include former Breckland leader Cliff Jordan - who was re-elected as a county councillor - Nick Daubney, the leader of King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council, and also South West Norfolk constituency agent Ian Sherwood. It is thought more could put themselves forward.

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