LGA chairman rivals make pledges on comms

Both candidates vying for the role of Local Government Association's chairman are standing on claims that they will put comms at the top of their agenda.

Merrick Cockell: wants LGA to have a stronger voice
Merrick Cockell: wants LGA to have a stronger voice

The race is between leader of Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council Merrick Cockell and leader of Leicestershire County Council David Parsons.

In an email to Conservative group leaders, Cockell has promised to 'dominate the media with Conservative voices speaking for local government' if he wins the election race. He pledged to 'bring transparency and democracy to both'.

Cockell wants the LGA to have a stronger voice, even on issues where its members are divided: 'We should speak out on these even if we have to reflect that there are differences in opinion.'

Parsons has also vowed to 'sharpen our communications'. He has promised to end what he describes as the LGA's 'reactive defence of councils'. 'I would be prepared to criticise the Government ... but in the past LGA criticism of government has not always been constructive,' he said.

The race is to succeed Baroness Margaret Eaton. She will stand down as head of the Conservative Group at the LGA this summer. The ballot will be held from 27 to 29 June.

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