COUNTY COUNCIL: Ian Hudspeth wins vote to replace Keith Mitchell as leader

Herald Series: Ian Hudspeth Ian Hudspeth

IAN HUDSPETH, ejected from the Oxfordshire County Council cabinet last year following a leadership bid, has tonight won the vote to replace Keith Mitchell as head of the ruling Conservative group.

Mr Hudspeth has beaten David Robertson in a vote of Tory county councillors.

Mr Mitchell announced in November he was standing down as the leader of the county council next month after more than 10 years in power.

It is not known yet what the voting figures were from tonight's meeting of the Conservative group.

Mr Hudspeth's name will now be put forward as the new leader of the county council when all 74 county councillors next meet at the authority's Annual General Meeting on May 15, but that will be a formality given the Conservative's dominance.

Mr Hudspeth said: "I am obviously delighted with this result and will now look to the future. However Councillor Mitchell remains in office until May 15 when full council will consider me as the Conservative group's nomination to be the new leader.

"Councillor Mitchell has led the council with distinction for the last decade and out of respect for him and until the county council has made its final and formal decision on May 15 I will not be commenting further to any great degree."

“I am sure I speak for councillors and officers alike at the council in wishing to record immense gratitude to Keith Mitchell for his dedication and service to the county of Oxfordshire over the past decade. His excellent leadership ensures that Oxfordshire County Council remains one of the leading councils in the country in delivering real choice, low taxes and value for money.”

Mr Mitchell said: "The May 15 full council meeting will make the final decision. That is when my time as leader will officially end and my successor will take on the role.

"I wish my successor the all the very best in taking on the leadership of a council that provides 80 per cent of local government services in Oxfordshire including key functions such as highways, social care for adults and children, schools and education, fire and rescue and many more."

Mr Hudspeth had stood against Mr Mitchell last year for the leadership. He lost and then lost his place in the county cabinet.

Comments (18)

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6:31pm Thu 26 Apr 12

steve king says...

This is excellent news for the county, Ian is an extremely hard working and very capable politician.
Many congratulations Ian !
This is excellent news for the county, Ian is an extremely hard working and very capable politician. Many congratulations Ian ! steve king

7:55pm Thu 26 Apr 12

BEN1146 says...

Ha Ha
Ha Ha BEN1146

10:30pm Thu 26 Apr 12

A34North says...

steve king wrote:
This is excellent news for the county, Ian is an extremely hard working and very capable politician.
Many congratulations Ian !
You were doing well until you mentioned the word 'Politician'. God help us all and that includes you Dilly.
[quote][p][bold]steve king[/bold] wrote: This is excellent news for the county, Ian is an extremely hard working and very capable politician. Many congratulations Ian ![/p][/quote]You were doing well until you mentioned the word 'Politician'. God help us all and that includes you Dilly. A34North

6:06am Fri 27 Apr 12

Mike Ratcliffe says...

That's nice.

Population of Oxfordshire: 650,000.
Electorate for leader of County Council: 52.

Let's hope the signs that Mr Hudspeth had differences with Mr Mitchell are real.
That's nice. Population of Oxfordshire: 650,000. Electorate for leader of County Council: 52. Let's hope the signs that Mr Hudspeth had differences with Mr Mitchell are real. Mike Ratcliffe

6:13am Fri 27 Apr 12

gowest says...

This 'traffic taliban' politician created traffic havoc in Abingdon, instigated the silly tractor speeds of 20mph and waged war on the motorist. Now that he has some more power where will it all end?
This 'traffic taliban' politician created traffic havoc in Abingdon, instigated the silly tractor speeds of 20mph and waged war on the motorist. Now that he has some more power where will it all end? gowest

8:07am Fri 27 Apr 12

BEN1146 says...

The cogges link road fiasco
The cogges link road fiasco BEN1146

8:15am Fri 27 Apr 12

livid99 says...

gowest wrote:
This 'traffic taliban' politician created traffic havoc in Abingdon, instigated the silly tractor speeds of 20mph and waged war on the motorist. Now that he has some more power where will it all end?
Oxford is already one of the worst places to drive. Central London is easier to drive around than Oxford.
[quote][p][bold]gowest[/bold] wrote: This 'traffic taliban' politician created traffic havoc in Abingdon, instigated the silly tractor speeds of 20mph and waged war on the motorist. Now that he has some more power where will it all end?[/p][/quote]Oxford is already one of the worst places to drive. Central London is easier to drive around than Oxford. livid99

8:51am Fri 27 Apr 12

SNJ says...

It's good to know that the county will be in sane --oops, I meant safe -- hands. Well done Ian!
It's good to know that the county will be in sane --oops, I meant safe -- hands. Well done Ian! SNJ

9:54am Fri 27 Apr 12

Paul Wesson says...

Having met both Ian Hudspeth and David Robertson, and having clashed politically with the 2 of them, I can safely say that the alternative would have been far worse.
Having met both Ian Hudspeth and David Robertson, and having clashed politically with the 2 of them, I can safely say that the alternative would have been far worse. Paul Wesson

10:44am Fri 27 Apr 12

Mark L. says...

This is the prat that wants to close our one and only local refuse tip. Get ready for a fly tipping extravaganza.
This is the prat that wants to close our one and only local refuse tip. Get ready for a fly tipping extravaganza. Mark L.

10:45am Fri 27 Apr 12

Mark L. says...

This is the prat that wants to close our one and only local refuse tip. Get ready for a fly tipping extravaganza.
This is the prat that wants to close our one and only local refuse tip. Get ready for a fly tipping extravaganza. Mark L.

11:27am Fri 27 Apr 12

Major Oxford says...

Bring nack Mitchell
Bring nack Mitchell Major Oxford

11:35am Fri 27 Apr 12

Sophia says...

Having cocked up Oxfordshire's roads for years, this complacent nonentity now gets to play with the whole train set. How depressing
Having cocked up Oxfordshire's roads for years, this complacent nonentity now gets to play with the whole train set. How depressing Sophia

12:16pm Fri 27 Apr 12

mickeybear says...

I'd have been quite happy to see either of these candidates appointed, and it is encouraging that the group had a real choice between two candidates of real stature, both of whom are more than capable of taking the job on. I can't help but feel that they have gone for the 'easier option', in all likelihood by reaction to the Mitchell era.

I hope Mr Hudspeth, who has something of a reputation for ducking issues, will have the courage to tackle the rot in the council's senior management, which starts at the top. Competence and ability must in future be the criteria by which senior management are judged, and the depressing decline in standards over the past seven or eight years needs to be arrested and reversed. That will only be possible by beginning at the very top, where real responsibility for this decline lies, because so long as staff see that such an "example" is tolerated, they will not have confidence that real ability, commitment and the courage to speak truth to politicians will once again become the hallmarks of public service. The damage done is deep, but can be restored.
I'd have been quite happy to see either of these candidates appointed, and it is encouraging that the group had a real choice between two candidates of real stature, both of whom are more than capable of taking the job on. I can't help but feel that they have gone for the 'easier option', in all likelihood by reaction to the Mitchell era. I hope Mr Hudspeth, who has something of a reputation for ducking issues, will have the courage to tackle the rot in the council's senior management, which starts at the top. Competence and ability must in future be the criteria by which senior management are judged, and the depressing decline in standards over the past seven or eight years needs to be arrested and reversed. That will only be possible by beginning at the very top, where real responsibility for this decline lies, because so long as staff see that such an "example" is tolerated, they will not have confidence that real ability, commitment and the courage to speak truth to politicians will once again become the hallmarks of public service. The damage done is deep, but can be restored. mickeybear

1:55pm Fri 27 Apr 12

BEN1146 says...

mickeybear wrote:
I'd have been quite happy to see either of these candidates appointed, and it is encouraging that the group had a real choice between two candidates of real stature, both of whom are more than capable of taking the job on. I can't help but feel that they have gone for the 'easier option', in all likelihood by reaction to the Mitchell era.

I hope Mr Hudspeth, who has something of a reputation for ducking issues, will have the courage to tackle the rot in the council's senior management, which starts at the top. Competence and ability must in future be the criteria by which senior management are judged, and the depressing decline in standards over the past seven or eight years needs to be arrested and reversed. That will only be possible by beginning at the very top, where real responsibility for this decline lies, because so long as staff see that such an "example" is tolerated, they will not have confidence that real ability, commitment and the courage to speak truth to politicians will once again become the hallmarks of public service. The damage done is deep, but can be restored.
Not with this man
[quote][p][bold]mickeybear[/bold] wrote: I'd have been quite happy to see either of these candidates appointed, and it is encouraging that the group had a real choice between two candidates of real stature, both of whom are more than capable of taking the job on. I can't help but feel that they have gone for the 'easier option', in all likelihood by reaction to the Mitchell era. I hope Mr Hudspeth, who has something of a reputation for ducking issues, will have the courage to tackle the rot in the council's senior management, which starts at the top. Competence and ability must in future be the criteria by which senior management are judged, and the depressing decline in standards over the past seven or eight years needs to be arrested and reversed. That will only be possible by beginning at the very top, where real responsibility for this decline lies, because so long as staff see that such an "example" is tolerated, they will not have confidence that real ability, commitment and the courage to speak truth to politicians will once again become the hallmarks of public service. The damage done is deep, but can be restored.[/p][/quote]Not with this man BEN1146

3:07pm Fri 27 Apr 12

David Condon says...

Mr Hudspeth could save OCC a lot of money, save a lot of internal strife, save a lot of hassle for himself in his first year of office, as well as making a lot of friends here in Witney if he made this one good decision.
...
SCRAP THE COGGES LINK ROAD!
Mr Hudspeth could save OCC a lot of money, save a lot of internal strife, save a lot of hassle for himself in his first year of office, as well as making a lot of friends here in Witney if he made this one good decision. ... SCRAP THE COGGES LINK ROAD! David Condon

4:07pm Fri 27 Apr 12

nickwilcock says...

This is the same Hudspeth whose view of the 'support' he claims to observe for the Great White Elephant of the Cogges Bypass stems from a single OCCC meeting held in March 2008 when, he claims, 'Not one objector turned up to say anything'. While that isolated event might well have been true, surely even Hudspeth must have noticed the increasing volume of objection to this pointless, environmentally damaging and wholly unnecessary road - for which a clear alternative is available.

Still, as a Tory, I'm sure he'll be pleased to note that all the prospective Tory candidates for the imminent WODC local election have said that they will 'abide by the Secretary of State's decision' - hence if she finds against the Compulsory Purchase Order, he and his council must surely follow the same policy, admit defeat and not waste any more public money pressing the case for their flawed scheme.
This is the same Hudspeth whose view of the 'support' he claims to observe for the Great White Elephant of the Cogges Bypass stems from a single OCCC meeting held in March 2008 when, he claims, 'Not one objector turned up to say anything'. While that isolated event might well have been true, surely even Hudspeth must have noticed the increasing volume of objection to this pointless, environmentally damaging and wholly unnecessary road - for which a clear alternative is available. Still, as a Tory, I'm sure he'll be pleased to note that all the prospective Tory candidates for the imminent WODC local election have said that they will 'abide by the Secretary of State's decision' - hence if she finds against the Compulsory Purchase Order, he and his council must surely follow the same policy, admit defeat and not waste any more public money pressing the case for their flawed scheme. nickwilcock

5:28pm Fri 27 Apr 12

xjohnx says...

What about the Witney Corn Exchange fiddles?
What about the Witney Corn Exchange fiddles? xjohnx

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