Former leader claims returning to committee rule means 30 odd politicians “have their egos massaged” while Cambridgeshire stagnates

Nick Clarke

Nick Clarke - Credit: Archant

FORMER leader Nick Clarke claims the return of committees means that “30 odd politicians in Cambridgeshire have their egos massaged and the people will now suffer five years of stagnation”.

CCC Cabinet members and invited guests at the Archant business breakfast in Wisbech. CCC chief exec

CCC Cabinet members and invited guests at the Archant business breakfast in Wisbech. CCC chief exec Mark Lloyd and the then CCC leader Nick Clarke - Credit: Archant

In one of his rare blogs since his electoral defeat in May the former county council leader said: “Let’s hope all these committees don’t try and design any horses or we will be overrun with camels.”

He claimed Cambridgeshire had benefited from the strong leadership, Cabinet structure.

“Strong leadership gets stuff done,” he said. “The business community, individuals, politicians from all levels of government and all parties have told me that strong leadership was working and had really raised the profile of Cambridgeshire.

“The LGA, the County Council Network, local MPs and Ministers all recognised something special in the strong leadership being displayed in Cambridgeshire.”

He accepted “many people don’t like strong leadership for a variety of reasons. Most are to do with ego and a feeling of a loss of ability to influence and exercise control, neither of which I believe are true.

“Some, usually opposition politicians who want the ability to exercise more power but can’t, claim strong leadership is unfair, not democratic but again this does not need to be true.”

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He said he had been due to outline these thoughts to a conference in Worcestershire but a hamstring injury from playing cricket meant he had to cancel.

Cambridgeshire had “now turned its back on the strong leadership model” but a return to the committee system.

“And why has it done this?” he said. “Have the people been crying out for this significant change? No, far from it. People wanted the success to continue.

“The reason is no party won overall control in the recent elections. That had lots to do with how people felt about our relationship with Europe and very little to do with how the county council was being run.

“So, the minority parties wanted to group together to remove the strong leadership model so they would have more influence.”