Buckinghamshire Council leadership contested in first meeting since local elections

THE new leadership of Buckinghamshire Council was “contested” during the first full members’ meeting since the local elections, by a representative from another party who also condemned “party politics”.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 27th May 2021, 4:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th May 2021, 4:10 pm
Council Leader Martin Tett

Independent councillor for Hazlemere, Cllr Ed Gemmell, stood up during the first full council meeting of the new Buckinghamshire Council since the local elections on May 6 to challenge the re-appointment of Cllr Martin Tett as leader of the local authority.

The ex-city lawyer, who in 2019 told the Bucks Herald ‘he is not a politician’, before standing in the General Election as an independent for Wycombe and then receiving the least votes and losing, told Cllr Tett “party politics shouldn’t trump our duty of care to the climate crisis”.

He received support from fellow Independent councillor and Beaconsfield representative, Cllr Alison Wheelhouse.

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“Huge respect and thanks to Cllr Ed Gemmell, who contested the Bucks Council leadership today”, tweeted Cllr Wheelhouse on May 26.

She added: “He said, ‘party politics shouldn’t trump our duty of care to the climate crisis, this emergency requires an emergency response’. Thanks for standing up and putting this front and centre.”

Cllr Wheelhouse also said she was “delighted” to have been selected for the South Bucks Planning Committee, and the Strategic Sites Committee.

The first full council meeting since the local elections took place at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, in Aylesbury.

Cllr Tett was re-elected as leader, while Cllr Angela Macpherson said she was “really honoured” to be appointed as deputy leader, and cabinet member for adult social care and health.

“A huge challenge and one I feel passionately about,” she said.

Cllr Zahir Mohammed was elected as chairman of the new Buckinghamshire Council. He was also chairman of the former Buckinghamshire County Council between 2014-15.

He tweeted: “Will do my best to serve the residents of Buckinghamshire well.”

The final count after the local elections on May 6 saw the Conservatives with 113 seats, the Liberal Democrats with 15, the Independents with six seats, the Wycombe Independents also with six, Labour with four, the Independent Network with two seats, and the Green Party with one.

Bucks Council has been majority Conservative for 150 years – since its inception.