Following the decimation of Conservative councillors at the recent election Cheshire East Council leader Rachel Bailey has resigned as Conservative group leader.
A statement issued by the Conservative party states: “At tonight’s Conservative Group Annual General Meeting, Cllr Rachel Bailey announced that she would be standing down as leader of the Conservative group but will continue as Cheshire East Council Leader until the full annual council meeting on the 22nd May 2019. Cllr Rachel Bailey thanked the group members for their on-going support, however she feels that having fulfilled her commitments to the Conservative group, it is an opportune moment to step aside to enable a new leader to take on this important role. Cllr Bailey received a standing ovation from all members of the group. Following Cllr Bailey’s announcement, Cllr Janet Clowes was unanimously elected as the new Conservative group leader.”
Cllr Bailey saw her own vote slashed in this year’s election from 1,706 in 2015 to 746 this year hanging on to her Audlem seat by 78 votes.
Cheshire East now comprises 34 Conservatives, 25 Labour, 19 Independents and four Liberal Democrats.
The Conservatives remain the largest party. Cllr Janet Clowes has been elected as their party leader but, as the Conservatives no longer hold a working majority, there is no guarantee she will be elected leader of the council.
A new council leader has to be voted on by the full council later this month.