Seaton takes leadership of Fenland Council as Tories opt (temporarily) for safe pair of hands
- Credit: Archant
Councillors last night opted for what many regard as a safe pair of hands by voting in Chris Seaton as the new leader of Fenland District Council.
All 34 Tory councillors – absent or not – were allowed to vote, some by proxy, when he secured a narrow four vote victory over Councillor Chris Boden.
The election followed the resignation of Councillor John Clark earlier in the year: Cllr Clark missed last night’s vote – he is on holiday.
The decision provides a grain of comfort to three cabinet members, Michelle Tanfield, Will Sutton and Mike Cornwell, all of whom have recently been de-selected and so therefore will not be able to stand in May 2019 in their current wards. For now though it is likely to be ‘business as usual’.
Had Cllr Boden succeeded last night it was likely all three would have been replaced as part of mounting pressure by party activists to seek changes at Fenland Hall.
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They are likely now to be put on hold until the next local elections in just over a year’s time when many of the new candidates the Tories will field, if they succeed, are expected to throw their support behind Cllr Boden.
Cllr Seaton was first elected to Fenland Council in 2007 for Roman Bank and two years later took on his first cabinet role. He has held various roles including that of portfolio holder for regeneration and later for open for business.
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Cllr Seaton lives in Gorefield, and his career covered a span of 35 years in media publishing with the Cambridgeshire Times Group and EMAP PLC. He formed Chris Seaton Associates Ltd, a marketing and advertising consultancy in 2001 and retired in 2008.