Home   Canterbury   News   Article

Robert Thomas chosen as Canterbury City Council's new leader

By Joe Wright

Canterbury City Council has a new leader after the district's Tories voted in a secret ballot yesterday evening.

Cllr Robert Thomas, who is also on Kent County Council, will be taking up the mantle as authority leader in two weeks' time as he replaces the outgoing Simon Cook.

He triumphed at a Conservative vote last night as he won a two-horse race between himself and newly-elected Reculver councillor Rachel Carnac.

Robert Thomas is the new leader of Canterbury City Council
Robert Thomas is the new leader of Canterbury City Council

The Chartham and Stone Street representative first became a councillor in 2011 and was re-elected on Friday after gaining 20% of the vote in his two-seat ward.

Previous leader Simon Cook had a four-year spell at the top of the tree but lost his position on the authority to Mike Sole of the Lib Dems.

Cllr Thomas, whose father Ian is a Tory councillor for Swalecliffe, has a background in accountancy and is a former financial administrator at the University of Kent.

On becoming leader, he said: "I have mixed emotions about it.

"Simon Cook has done great work and I was genuinely devastated to lose him and other colleagues. It was a bitter pill to take but we had a good result overall.

Simon Cook's replacement has been announced
Simon Cook's replacement has been announced

"When speaking to fellow Conservative councillors I told them we need someone who can pick up the pieces and continue with the projects we have in the pipeline.

"I put myself forward as I know the area well and believe we can be an ambitious council which punches above its weight.

"I have ambition but I want to be a boringly competent leader."

With air quality, cost savings and the potential relocation of the council offices on his mind, former Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys pupil isn't planning on ripping up his predecessor's work.

'I have ambition but I want to be a boringly competent leader' - council leader Robert Thomas

He said: "There are things I believe that can be improved but there isn't anything I want to fundamentally change. If it's not broken, don't fix it.

"I just want to get on with what residents expect from a council and empower the great ideas that councillors have got."

Cllr Thomas, who lives in Wincheap and loves his comedy, became a KCC councillor in autumn last year following a resounding victory at the Canterbury North by-election.

He will officially become city council boss at the authority's annual meeting on Wednesday, May 22.

Tomorrow's Kentish Gazette will have a more in-depth interview with the new leader as well as a four-page special on Canterbury's local elections.

Read more: All the latest news from Canterbury

Tories form alliance with ukip and independents

Join the debate...
Comments |

Don't have an account? Please Register first!

The KM Group does not moderate comments. Please click here for our house rules.

People who post abusive comments about other users or those featured in articles will be banned.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.


Terms of Comments
We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules. If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here, email multimediadesk@thekmgroup.co.uk or call 01634 227989.

Follow us

Like Us on Facebook

Most popular

Kent Travel News

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More