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New leader elected by members of South Kesteven District Council.

A new leader has been chosen for South Kesteven District Council by just one vote.

Independent Coun Richard Cleaver was elected by members of the new council which met today for the first time since the local elections on May 4.

Coun Cleaver was elected by 27 votes to 26.

Coun Richard Cleaver
Coun Richard Cleaver

Coun Cleaver was nominated by Coun Ashley Baxter who said Coun Cleaver “has the enthusiasm, drive and capacity to do the job.”

Conservative group leader Coun Graham Jeal, who represents Grantham St Vincent’s, was the other nomination for the role. He was nominated by Coun Penny Milne who said Coun Jeal had “excellent credentials and that’s important in an era and spirit of balance in this council.”

The Conservative group formed an alliance with three Independents last week to take 27 seats, but that is just short of a majority in the 56 seat council.

On becoming leader, Coun Cleaver named his Cabinet and said that there would be action taken to make sure the council’s finances could be as sound as could be. He said there would also be an enhancement in scrutiny, making sure residents got more value for money and more effort towards climate change.

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