Would it have helped if council leadership candidates had invited greater engagement?

VERY little that is publicly accessible about the candidates for leadership of Cambridgeshire County Council affords us much ground for optimism.

By Friday night our thoughts will be irrelevant anyway since the blue smoke (figuratively speaking) will have risen over Shire Hall, Cambridge, indicating that a successor to Jill Tuck has been found.

This is a peculiar election since at one level the incoming leader will exercise greater control, offer greater powers of persuasion and influence, than probably any back bench MP. And whilst we have no particular view over the fact that the ruling Conservative group are doing nothing more than exercising their electoral right, we do feel they could have sought greater engagement with the voting public.

The issue of who becomes leader does matter, especially in a climate of severe cuts to services and the choices that have already been made and those that are to come over how our money is spent.

That there are even four candidates vying for the job only became known through political gossip and the leaking of information.

Of the four candidates one is from Fenland -Councillor Martin Curtis- and by all accounts is reckoned to have made a decent job of children’s services in his current Cabinet role.

Of the others we know that longevity plays a part (Councillor John Reynolds), continuity (Councillor Mac McGuire, presently deputy leader) and innovation (Councillor Nick Clarke, the new ‘kid on the block’).

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But of their thoughts, philosophies, aspirations and hopes and passions we know, sadly, too little and by tonight it will all be too late anyway.

We know none of the candidates like the Lib Dems and we know they would to bloody their noses in their Cambridge city stranglehold.

And that, regretfully, is about it.

Perhaps the new leader (whoever he is) might wish to reflect on the methodology used to elect their successor.

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