New leader of South Northants Council prepares for ‘challenges that lie ahead’

Councillor Ian McCord
Councillor Ian McCord

A new council leader was appointed and a new cabinet was announced at South Northamptonshire Council’s (SNC) annual meeting on Tuesday 20 May.

Councillor Ian McCord was appointed to replace Councillor Mary Clarke as leader after she decided not to seek re-election. Both are members of the Conservative Party.

Councillor Clarke was leader of SNC from 2010, and has been ward member for Old Stratford for four years before which she represented Towcester.

She said: “Serving as council leader has been a great honour and something that I will always be proud to look back on. I am indebted to the public for electing me to the council and to the members for electing and supporting me as leader.”

Councillor Clarke had also served as director of the West Northamptonshire Development Corporation, and chaired the West Northants Joint Strategic Planning Committee. She has also represented the council as a director of the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP), a role which she will retain in a private sector capacity.

Councillor McCord has been a member of SNC’s cabinet since 2010, most recently as portfolio holder for resources, and has represented Cosgrove and Grafton since 2007 He said: “This is a great district with greater potential, constantly rated as one of the best places to live in the UK.

“But we won’t just sit back and enjoy it. Whilst I welcome the return of a Conservative majority Government I have no doubt that the challenges that lie ahead will be no less that those we have faced in the past.

“I will continue with partnership working and extend that to be wider and deeper and ensure that the Council has as sound and secure future.”

At the annual meeting, Councillor Phil Bignell was appointed deputy leader and portfolio holder for transformation and governance, and a new cabinet was announced by Councillor McCord consisting of a further two new cabinet members and three previous cabinet members.

Councillor Rosie Herring remains as portfolio holder for community engagement and wellbeing, Councillor Rebecca Breese remains as portfolio holder for planning and environment, Councillor Dermot Bambridge stays on the cabinet and takes over the portfolio for environmental services.

New to the cabinet are Councillor Stephen Clarke who takes over the portfolio for economic development, regeneration and housing, and Councillor Peter Rawlinson who takes over as portfolio holder for finance and procurement.