Politicians set for district council leadership race

A leadership battle to take the hotseat at AVDC is likely
A leadership battle to take the hotseat at AVDC is likely

Candidates hoping to lead Aylesbury Vale District Council have begun throwing their hats into the ring.

Councillor Michael Edmonds, deputy leader of the council, and backbencher Councillor Phil Yerby, a former member of the cabinet, have both said they will stand for the post.

A number of other cabinet members have said they are yet to decide if they will put themselves forward.

The race has been sparked by Councillor John Cartwright’s announcement that he will leave the role before the end of August after 13 years in charge. A new leader will be confirmed at full council on September 11, although the ruling Conservative party will have picked someone by then.

Mr Edmonds said his experience as deputy for more than six years would be beneficial.

He said: “I would be more aware of what the job entails. It’s quite a commitment.”

Former cabinet member Mr Yerby said he would bring a fresh approach.

He said: “Aylesbury Vale needs change, fresh ideas and innovation.”

Councillor Neil Blake, cabinet member for resources, said he is ‘seriously considering’ standing for the job.

Of the rest of the cabinet, David Thompson and Sir Beville Stanier said they have not decided if they will take part in the contest, while Pam Pearce, Brian Roberts, Sue Polhill and Carole Paternoster have ruled themselves out of the running.

The race will begin once Mr Cartwright goes, although Mr Edmonds said there are ‘quite a few people’ in the party asking him to stay on.