Members of Dorset County Council have elected Cllr Robert Gould as their new leader today (3 December).
A special full council meeting was called to vote on this issue after it became clear Cllr Spencer Flower was unable to continue with his leadership duties following police charges under the Localism Act 2011.
Cllr Gould is the Conservative councillor for the Sherborne Division and is current deputy Leader and Cabinet member for corporate resources. He is also Leader of West Dorset District Council. He has named Cllr Peter Finney as his deputy.
Cllr Finney who represents the West Moors and Holt division is the county’s Cabinet member for environment and economy.
Cllr Gould said: “It was essential for the council to act quickly to deal with this issue and it is a great privilege to take up the role. I intend to continue in the clear direction we have established for our important work to help boost the economy of the county and promote the health and wellbeing of Dorset residents.
“I will be considering the make-up of the Cabinet to ensure we have a strong leadership team for the vital work of transforming services at a time of unprecedented budget reductions.”
Verwood county councillor, Spencer Flower became Leader in May 2013, but has relinquished the role following charges over alleged failures to declare an interest in a property company. A plea of not guilty to the charges was entered at Bournemouth Magistrate’s Court yesterday. The case was adjourned to 24 April next year.