Leadership challenge faced by county council’s David Hodge

March 13, 2018

David Hodge ‘s county council leadership will be challenged for the first time since he took on the role seven years ago.

The person who has stepped up to the plate is his predecessor Cllr Andrew Povey.

Cllr Povey who resigned as Surrey County Council (SCC) leader and replaced by Cllr Hodge in 2011 previously claimed the two clashed over “different styles”.

But now the councillor for Cranleigh Ewhurst will stand against him when the Conservative group councillors select their leader on Friday (March 16) for the coming year.

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Cllr Povey told Get Surrey : “He [Cllr Hodge] has been leader for seven years which is a fairly long time.

“We need some fresh thinking in terms of funding. I want to put together a new narrative and a fresh approach.

“We have lost ground. We have made a lot of savings but we are no where near to a sustainable budget.”

“There is a lot of anticipation within the council to change. I think some new members need to be brought on more to bring new energy.”

“We need some fresh thinking,” said Dr Povey who will run for SCC leadership on Friday (March 16)
(Image: Trinity Mirror Southern)

Speaking about SCC’s financial crisis , he said Cllr Hodge “has managed to provide some savings but I think he missed the trick with CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy) report”.

“This is a report they reviewed in 2016 when he was talking about the 15% council tax rise,” he said.

“He didn’t do anything about it at the time. I think the priority is about making savings – the sooner you do it the better.

“If you leave it it gets worse and that is why we are in the situation we are.

“You could foresee it was going to happen.”

Councillor David Hodge’s county council leadership is set to be challenged for the first time in seven years
(Image: Federica Battiato)

Dr Povey stepped down as SCC leader in September 2011 and was replaced the next month.

Following his resignation he told BBC : “It got to the point where we were seeing things differently… we have a different style, are very different people – that can be a strength, but I think it got to the point where it was going the other way.”

When asked if such differences had been resolved, he told Get Surrey : “We are always going to be different, we have different ideas.

“We have to accept that.

“I have been talking to members and I am getting a good reception. We will have to see.”

Cllr Hodge has been approached for comment.

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Article source: https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/leadership-challenge-faced-county-councils-14402254

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