John Fuller reselected as leader of South Norfolk Council
Norfolk’s longest-running council leader has been reappointed for a 17th year – but has seen his control severely diminished.
John Fuller, who is one of the longest-serving leaders in the country, has been reselected to take the helm of South Norfolk Council (SNC) for 2023-24.
However, Mr Fuller’s acceptance speech took a more humble tone than previous years, telling members that everyone would have to work together.
It follows the local elections earlier this month, which saw the Conservative ranks at SNC severely reduced from 35 in 2019 to 24.
Should the Conservatives lose one councillor the authority would go to no overall control, meaning the chairman would have the casting vote in split decisions.
Mr Fuller said the challenges facing the council had changed since 2019, with cost of living pressures being particularly acute.
“Starting today there are new people, we as councillors are the embodiment of the council, we are responsible for all of the activities of this council.
“If it is to be a joint endeavour of all parties, and let’s be clear it is a tighter majority, so we need to be more consensual in the way we approach these things.
“That’s the way we can build a better South Norfolk together.
“This is a different council we are all going to have to work together, regardless of party, to get that right outcome.”
The council is now made up of 24 Conservatives, 11 Liberal Democrats, nine Labour and two Independent members.
It is the fewest Conservative members in 20 years.
The make-up of SNC’s cabinet is:
John Fuller – leader and external affairs
Daniel Elmer – deputy leader and governance, technology and innovation
Lisa Neal – stronger, greener economy
Graham Minshul – supporting people
Keith Kiddie – clean and safe environment
Kim Carsok – healthy and active lifestyles
Richard Elliot – finance and resources