Political blog, June 8: Election aftermath and a KCC reshuffle
UP DATE, 3.30PM
I gather that a cabinet reshuffle at County
Hall is being planned with the possibility of some new
faces in the top team. KCC leader Paul Carter says
he wants to freshen up the cabinet which will mean some people
waiting anxiously by a phone. Unlike Gordon Brown, he'll be
remaking his team from an enviable position of strength, of
course - which means he pretty much has a free rein.
I'll bring any updates when I hear of developments. One rumour
doing the rounds is that there may be a place for one of the
newly-elected members, which would certainly be a bold move.
Other rumours - which I emphasise are just that - suggest a
possible recall for a senior councillor who was sacked. Another
straw in the wind are possible changes to those with education
I've been speaking to all the parties to get their reaction to
the Kent County Council results and there are some interesting
The first is the universally shared view that the Conservative
stranglehold will make it much more difficult to hold the ruling
administration to account. Without exception, the issue has been
raised by all that I've spoken to.
Perhaps we will get a feeling for how KCC approaches this on
Thursday when there is a meeting of the authority's
Selection and Member Services Committee. This is
the committee that will have to decide the allocation of seats to
various committees and how many the parties wil be entitled to. The
problem is that the divvying up of seats is calculated on the basis
of the overall political make-up of the council. Meaning the
Conservatives will inevitably end up with more.
The second is that the minority parties are coming round to the
idea that none of them will ever get a foothold on the council
unless they forge alliances and form electoral pacts about where to
stand and allow one another to target particular seats.
I'm actually quite surprised they didn't try that approach this
time round. After all, Labour was in such a dismal state it was
pushed into fourth place in countless seats - but not always by the
Blog postings on the Euro election results got a bit derailed
last night as the count for the south east was among the last to
declare. You can read all our coverage
it was fairly dire for Labour - but that hardly came as a
surprise. Congratulations to Conservative MEP Dan Hannan who on his
blog correctly predicted that Labour would trail in fifth.
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