FENLAND: Jill tipped to become 'first lady' of Cambridgeshire to replace Walters
WEB EXCLUSIVE By JOHN ELWORTHY A FENLAND councillor and the only woman Cabinet member at Shire Hall, is widely tipped to become county council leader after a ballot next month. Councillor Jill Tuck has been nominated to the £21,500 a year post by senior
By JOHN ELWORTHY
A FENLAND councillor and the only woman Cabinet member at Shire Hall, is widely tipped to become county council leader after a ballot next month.
Councillor Jill Tuck has been nominated to the £21,500 a year post by senior colleagues who believe she is the ideal candidate to replace Cllr Keith Walters.
"It took me a long time to consider accepting the nomination after I was first approached by some senior councillors to stand," she said today.
"Twice I said 'no' but not only did Cabinet colleagues approach me to stand but back bench members of the council asked me as well," she said.
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"It is, of course, a very important role but one I would never have considered without discussing it first with my family, which I have now done. My husband John is very supportive and so I have allowed my name to go forward."
One other nominee was also revealed today- that of Councillor Alan Melton, a former Cabinet colleague of Cllr Tuck and a former leader of Fenland District Council.
"I have been nominated and seconded and will, in due course, be making a presentation to the Conservative group on the county council," he said. "It will be interesting to see how it goes."
Cllr Tuck, who will also continue to receive her basic councillors' allowance of £7,400, has been a Fenland district councillor since 1991 and a county councillor since 1993.
The intriguing contest for a new leader follows the resignation last year of Councillor Shona Johnstone last year over the replacement of a chief executive. Councillor Keith Walters return as leader temporarily but made it clear he wanted a permanent successor to be found by May.
Cllr Tuck said today: "I realise it is a big job but I am up for the challenge." She said a priority would be an improvement of council services "not for any kudos, but for people out there.
"There is a massive growth agenda for Cambridgeshire, which is quite concerning, and the new eco town, for example, planned for South Cambridgeshire will affect us all."
She has met the new chief executive, Mark Lloyd, twice and said they shared similar ideal "of putting people together."
Cllr Tuck is also a Cabinet member at Fenland District Council but will discuss her future role there with the leader, Councillor Geoff Harper.
As a county councillor, Cllr Tuck has held many roles including:
* Deputy spokesman for Social services 1995
* Chairman of Finance, Resources & Audit Scrutiny
* Chairman of Health & Social Care Scrutiny
* Portfolio holder for Inclusion in May 2005
* Chairman of the Interim Executive Board at the Queen's School until May 2007
"Cabinet member for Children & Young Peoples Services May 2007
She is also a member of the following partnership boards:
Cambridgeshire Together (LAA Board)
Fenland Strategic Partnership
Chairman of Fenland Links
Children & Young Peoples Partnership Steering Group
Chairman of Corporate Parenting Board
Past positions at Fenland Council include:
*Chairman of Best Value Review Committee
* Chairman of human resources
Currently she is Cabinet Member for Community & Well being
She was also a member of the Police Authority for 10 years to 2007.