Cllr Fothergill, who was CCN’s Adult Social Care and Health Spokesperson, and Leader of Somerset County Council, will take over the role of Conservative Group Leader and with it the cross-party position of CCN Chairman on an interim basis. This follows the local elections in Hertfordshire, where current CCN Chairman David Williams lost his seat as a councillor.
Cllr Fothergill will stay in place until July, when a permanent CCN Chairman-Elect will be appointed following elections within the largest political party, the Conservatives.
CCN has also announced that Cllr Keith Glazier will become CCN’s Social Care Spokesperson alongside his role as Children’s and Young People Spokesperson.
Cllr Fothergill paid tribute to his predecessor David Williams’ leadership of the CCN during his tenure as chairman, which begun in July 2019 and has covered the pandemic.
He said his priority as will be ensuring that county authorities’ case on economic recovery and social renewal is heard, alongside supporting and engaging new and continuing administrations in the CCN membership following the local elections.
Cllr David Fothergill, Acting Chairman of the County Councils Network, said:
“Under David Williams’ leadership, the CCN has been one of the most prominent voices in local government both before, and during the pandemic. He has been instrumental in supporting the unique interests of county authorities and the wider sector on the national stage.
“Whilst I am taking on this role in circumstances I wouldn’t have wished for, it is a privilege to lead this organisation over the coming weeks whilst a permanent chairman is elected. I want to work with all councillors across political lines, as well senior officers, to make the case for counties. In particular, I look forward to engaging and supporting new council leaders and their administrations following May’s local elections.
“As the country begins its slow return to normality, there are many outstanding issues of importance to counties, not least in funding for rural authorities, social care reform, and of course, economic growth, devolution and levelling up. I will work to ensure that the soon to be elected chair of CCN can be certain that the great work started under David Williams will be maintained and that there will be no absence of leadership in the interim.”
Notes to editor