TOM Fox has been elected as the leader of Scarborough Council for the next four years.
He secured 34 votes from councillors at yesterday’s first meeting of the new council with challenger Coun Broadbent, from the Labour Group, getting six votes – nine had voted to reopen nominations.
Members of the Labour Group tried to get the decision declared a recorded vote, so that it could be seen as open and accountable, but they did not get the required eight councillors supporting the move.
Coun Broadbent said: “One of the main reasons that compelled me to seek the leadership of Scarborough Borough Council, apart from the support of my own group and many disenchanted members of the public, is simply that I know that this council is today entering into a different form of governance and a form of local government that we cannot afford to get wrong.”
Coun Broadbent added that that the council had to change the way it worked with with its most important partner – the general public.
Coun Fox said he wanted to take the borough forward and that one of his main concerns was “consensus politics”.
He added: “We will work in a way that allows us to reach a consensus.
“For eight years as a councillor I’ve stood up to the line and put my head above the parapet.
“I’ve been shot at a few times. I think I have a record which you can examine.
“I hope that you will see me as a safe pair of hands – not as a political leader but as a council leader.”
Speaking after the meeting Coun Fox said he had been apprehensive up to, and during, the vote.
He added: “I’m very excited by the challenge and I’m looking forward to it.”
He told councillors that he was stepping down as leader of the Conservative Group – to not be seen as a political leader – and it is understood that the group will meet over the next few days to elect a replacement leader.
One of his first jobs will be to decide on who will be appointed to the cabinet next week.
Coun Helen Mallory, Seamer, was unanimously voted in as the new deputy mayor.
John Blackburn, Cayton, is mayor elect.