New Nottinghamshire County Council leader outlines his 'unique position' as he pledges to continue his MP role
The newly elected leader of Nottinghamshire County Council has set out his hopes and ambitions for Nottinghamshire residents.
Councillor Ben Bradley said he was honoured to have been selected as leader of the Conservative Group and Nottinghamshire County Council.
The 31-year-old has served as MP for Mansfield since 2017 and becomes the only sitting MP and local authority leader in the country.
The father-of-two has come under fire from both Labour and Ashfield Independent politicians, who claim that both roles would require his full-time commitment, and that voters would ultimately suffer as he tries to balance the two – as well as his councillor commitments to Mansfield North.
Coun Bradley said: “I never thought 10 years ago when I was in the public gallery at a fullcCouncil meeting, doing work experience with Mark Spencer MP, that I would one day be the leader of this authority.
"I am grateful to all my colleagues for their unanimous support and excited about the opportunities and benefits this majority Conservative administration can deliver to residents.
“I feel that I am in a unique position to advance the cause of Nottinghamshire County Council and residents by working directly with Government and ministers to get things done.
"My current roles will allow me to speak to ministers first-hand and these conversations will directly benefit Nottinghamshire.
“No other council leader in the country has that same opportunity to put local issues direct to the heart of Government.
“We have listened to local residents throughout the local election campaign. We have got a far-reaching agenda for the county of Nottinghamshire and as a Conservative administration we are keen and ready to get on with the job.
“I wish to use this opportunity to offer my thanks to the workforce for their efforts during the pandemic. It has been a challenging year but we’re heading out the other side and I look forward to working with colleagues from across the council in a new post-Covid era.”
Speaking on BBC Radio Nottingham today, Coun Bradley said he is not the only MP doing ‘full-on other roles’.
He said: “It’s not unprecedented in the sense that MPs are also MSPs (Members of the Scottish Parliament), there are MPs who are also Metro mayors, and there are also 100 MPs who are ministers in Government and, as you can imagine, Matt Hancock is a constituency MP and also running a £300bn Government Department, which is also a pretty full-on other role, so it’s not unusual from that perspective.
“In my mind, all I am doing, rather than trying to climb the career ladder in Westminster, my commitment is to residents in Nottinghamshire, and I’ll spend my time here trying to deliver better services.”
Coun Bradley will be officially appointed to lead the new administration at the council’s planned Annual General Meeting on May 27.
Councillor Bruce Laughton has been elected as the deputy leader and councillor Chris Barnfather becomes the Conservative group business manager.
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