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Cllr Keith Morris voted in as Conservative group leader for Dover District Council

By Sam Lennon

Dover district’s Conservatives have chosen a new district leader.

And Keith Morris will become leader of the entire council if he passes a full council vote.

Cllr Morris replaces Paul Watkins who retired after a 30-year career in local government.

Cllr Keith Morris. Picture from Dover District Council

Cllr Keith Morris. Picture from Dover District Council

Cllr Morris was elected as group leader at a local Conservatives' meeting last night at the district council offices in Whitfield.

He now needs to be formally voted in as Dover District Council leader at a full council meeting on Wednesday, October 18.

Cllr Morris is currently cabinet portfolio holder for skills, training, tourism, voluntary services and community safety.

He is a member for the St Margaret’s-at-Cliffe ward, as Mr Watkins had been.

Cllr Michael Conolly is currently the interim leader of the council.

Retired DDC leader Paul Watkins

Retired DDC leader Paul Watkins

 Paul Watkins, 70, retired both as leader and district member last Saturday.

He had been one of the longest serving council leaders in Kent, starting in 2003.

He joined the authority as a ward member for Lower Walmer in 1983 and from 1999 represented St Margaret’s.

Mr Watkins, a former nurse and nursing home owner, was also chairman of the council from 1989 to 1992.

He was in local government during the district’s most tragic events, the sinking of the Herald of Free Enterprise in 1987 and the bombing of the Royal Marines Barracks in Deal two years later.

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