Last night the Conservative Group on Elmbridge Borough Council chose Cllr John O’Reilly to succeed Cllr Roy Taylor as leader of the Conservative Group. John will take over after the local elections due on 6th May.
The idea of having a leader-elect is to ensure that when Roy Taylor stands down from his position the new leader will have spent the last 6 months shadowing the outgoing leader and will be able to hit the ground running. It is important for all businesses to apply their minds to succession planning and ruling Council groups are no different.
I am delighted that John won. I have got to know him well over the past 2 years as he is the portfolio holder for housing, an area in which I have some professional expertise and a general interest. He is a passionate advocate of the need for affordable housing. That does not just mean homes for rent but also low cost housing to buy. It is very difficult to get your foot on the housing ladder in Elmbridge and consequently many young people and key workers are forced to live out of the borough, which in turn increases the burden on our creaking transport infrastructure. Having John O’Reilly as our leader will inevitably move this issue to the forefront of Council thinking over the next few years.