Kay Mayor re-elected as chairman of Fenland Council - just days after quitting political role as Tory association chairman

Cllr Kay Mayor (seated) re-elected chairman of Fenland Council. Her new deputy is Cllr Maureen Davie

Cllr Kay Mayor (seated) re-elected chairman of Fenland Council. Her new deputy is Cllr Maureen Davies - Credit: Archant

A Whittlesey councillor has been re-elected chairman of Fenland District Council – just days after quitting her role as chairman of the local Conservative association.

Councillor Kay Mayor was unanimously elected for a second civic year by her fellow councillors last Thursday.

However the traditional two year appointment of both chairman and vice chairman was changed following the news that Wisbech councillor David Hodgson is to stand down from public life at next year’s local elections.

He had been vice chairman of the council for a year but the council has now given the role for the coming 12 months to Wimblington councillor Maureen Davis.

Cllr Mayor has served as both a town and district councillor and until last week was chairman of the North East Cambridgeshire Conservative Association.

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However she has found it a particularly fractious role in recent months following an internal row that has seen long standing councillors de-selected ahead of next May’s elections.

At the association’s recent annual meeting the president Victor Aveling attacked his own executive for de-selecting four senior councillors – three of them cabinet members of Fenland Council and the fourth the chairman of the planning committee.

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He told a record attendance of more than 100 party members at the March Conservative Club that effectively the split might lead to a break up of the association.

Among those de-selected are cabinet member Mike Cornwell and planning committee chairman Alex Miscandlon.

However the president’s greatest anger was reserved for the de-selection of cabinet members Will Sutton and Michelle Tanfield at Elm and Christchurch.

“We have replaced experienced councillors with some weak candidates,” he said. “And in my opinion one unsuitable candidate who after being deselected as a Conservative councillor stood against us unsuccessfully firstly as an independent and then under the UKIP banner,” he said.

The candidate selected for one of those seats is former councillor Phil Webb, who has rejoined the Conservative Party but who, in recent years, has unsuccessfully stood as a UKIP candidate and also as an independent. Mr Webb, who once lived in Elm, has since moved to Whittlesey but was still selected for the seat Elm and Christchurch.

Cllr May has decided she no longer wishes to be the association’s chairman and her replacement will be appointed next month.

Of her civic role as Fenland Council chairman she said: “I am proud and delighted to have the endorsement of my fellow members to serve for another year as chairman.

“Councillor Maureen Davis as vice-chairman and I will be seeking to use the opportunities afforded to us in these civic roles to promote the district in Cambridgeshire and beyond.”

Cllr Davis was selected at a private meeting of Conservative councillors before her name was put forward to the Conservative controlled full council. She beat Councillor Alex Miscandlon for the party’s nomination.

Cllr Mayor, a former Whittlesey mayor, has chosen Macmillan Cancer Support as her nominated charity for the years of office.

Cllr Davis, who is also chairman of Wimblington Parish Council, said: “I’d like to thank members for electing me as vice-chairman. I am really looking forward to my role and working alongside Cllr Mayor to engage with the people of Fenland and our partners throughout the coming year.”

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