Leadership and Authority

In the 10 days I have had chance to ponder the issue of Leadership in a variety of different ways, personally in my family life as we go through a very difficult time, in my business life which is extremely busy and in my public life.

Last Friday week Suffolk County Councillors gathered for the first full Council since our Conservative Group AGM and so the atmosphere on our side was interesting with quite a few changes having taken place since my failed leadership challenge. Having narrowly won Mark Bee immediately emailed to call for group loyalty but then promptly sacked everyone he could easily identify as being against him. In the rather undignified period that followed I don’t think many of my colleagues appreciated his campaign manager going around with a little list quietly questioning, observing, and trying to work out who voted for and against. Quite rightly most people simply shrugged their shoulders, said they voted for him and that they did not have a clue who had the temerity to vote against, a wise move indeed.

Having been one of those purged, I found myself sitting on the back benches for the first time in 6 years and pondering the often indefinable quality of Leadership and to some extent what might have been, but not too much as life does have a habit of moving on. Does it come from hieratical control achieved by removing those you can identify again you from Cabinet and Committee chairmanship roles and promoting others you hoped were for you? Or does it come from personal authority and conviction, rarely convincingly achieved in reading out your speech writer’s words however eloquent. Time will tell. Of course at Suffolk County Council the underlying issues remain and for those new into the cabinet I certainly wish them better luck than I had in trying to highlight those issues. If unsuccessful they can always join the ever growing ranks of those dismissed, stepped down or refusing to work too closely, but who, no doubt (because they have told me so) will seek to continue to offer challenge however privately in the confines of the group meetings.

Of course it was also the Council’s AGM and I enjoyed watching the ceremonial portion of the day unfold with Cllr. Guy McGregor handed over the baton of the Chairman’s office to Cllr. Chris Hudson and Cllr. Jane Storey being invested as the Deputy Chairman of the Council. It was also the 40th Birthday of the County Council (formed in the 1974 Local Government reorganisation from the old East and West Suffolk County Councils no less!) and so Guy took the opportunity to present, as his last duty, a short slide presentation on the Council’s history and his personal reflection of some of its achievements. This along with the displays of photos of the Council over that period showed just how times change and it was great to see pictures of Councillors past and present, some looking quite a bit younger in some of the photos!

The ceremonial events went on so long I was unable to stay for the party Leaders speeches but was able to pick them up on Ipswich Spy (www.ipswichspy.wordpress.com) who filmed the meeting, as I had to travel to Sheringham in Norfolk to officiate at the North Norfolk Conservative Association’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate hustings but more of that on another day.

About askcolinnoble
I'm a Conservative politician-lite, I dabble a bit in Party Politics with my main focus of working hard and being a strong voice for my community making sure local government delivers quality services and fellow residents get value for money for their hard earned money they pay in Council tax | Where this Gravatar appears and I am expressing my views or liking something I do so in a personal capacity and does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Suffolk County Council, Forest Heath District Council, the Conservative Party or come to think of it anyone else | But having said the above at an election time and to stay legal anything I write is promoted by Lance Stanbury on behalf of Colin Noble, both at West Suffolk Conservative Association, Unit 8, Swan Lane Business Park, Exning, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7FN

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