St James Residents' Association

For The Residents And Workers Of St James

Friday, 28 October 2011

Two-horse race to run Northampton Borough Council following resignation of former leader via Twitter



THERE will be a straight fight between two Conservative councillors to be the next leader of Northampton Borough Council tonight. The authority’s current cabinet member for housing, Councillor Christopher Malpas (Con, Billing) will take on the current cabinet advisor, Councillor David Mackintosh (Con, Rectory Farm) for the top spot at the Guildhall. The battle follows the resignation of former leader, Councillor David Palethorpe (Con, Billing) who announced his decision to stand down on Twitter on Wednesday evening claiming there was “disloyalty and self interest” among some members of his party. Councillor Mackintosh is believed to be the front-runner to take over the top job because of his experience as a cabinet member on Northamptonshire County Council and the close links he developed with Conservative Party big-hitters during his time working in the party’s central office. He said: “Obviously, we would never like to have a leadership contest in the current circumstances, but we’ve got to think about the leadership of the town.
“We want to take the town forwards and I hope that if I am elected leader, I can do that.” The contest will be decided during a meeting of the Conservative group at 5.30pm tonight. Councillor Mackintosh has said that if he is elected, he would stand down from his position as the county council’s cabinet member for community services and take a back bench role at County Hall.

Councillor Malpas, who is also a back-bencher on the county council as well as a cabinet member at the Guildhall, said that if he was chosen as the next council leader he would also fight to push the town forward.
He said: “I think it’s very much a case of we need to look at the good things we’ve done in the past six months and go forwards. “Unfortunately we’ve hit a blip at the moment. We’ve got to overcome that and repair the damage with the public. “And despite what has happened this week, the group is actually quite united. They had some reservations about David Palethorpe’s leadership style, that was all. That could have been overcome, but unfortunately he didn’t want to overcome it. “So the group has got a choice now and whatever choice they make, I will support it. “I’ve got total confidence in David Mackintosh and I hope he would have total confidence in me if I was elected.”

Following his shock resignation on Wednesday, Councillor Palethorpe spent yesterday writing on his online blog. In articles about housing developments and politics in Northampton, he rounded on his Conservative colleagues on Northamptonshire County Council, labelling their behaviour “arrogant” and claiming they wanted to merge the county and borough councils.

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St James End before 1965

St James End before 1965


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