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05.07.19

County Councils Network announces new chairman

The County Councils Network (CCN) has announced today that councillor David Williams has been elected leader of the Conservative group for the network, and will now be chairman elect for the organisation.

This follows a leadership contest between Cllr Williams, who is leader of Hertfordshire County Council, and Cllr Philip Atkins, leader of Staffordshire County Council.

He will formally replace the current CCN chairman Cllr Paul Carter at the organisation’s Annual General Meeting on 19 September as Cllr Carter has finished his maximum term under the CCN constitution.

Cllr Williams has been leader of Hertfordshire County Council since 2017 and was previously CCN spokesman for health and social care. He has pledged to bring a ‘fresh energy’ to the network’s advocacy, whilst building on the progress the organisation has made over the past four years.

READ MORE: CCN calls for larger county council role in planning

He said that his immediate priority for his term was ensuring greater financial certainty for CCN member councils. He also wants to redouble the organisation’s focus on the ‘place-based’ leadership role of counties in delivering good local growth and public sector transformation.

Cllr Williams said: “I am hugely proud and privileged to be elected as chairman elect of the CCN. Under Paul Carter’s leadership the organisation has gone from strength to strength, becoming a hugely respected organisation across the sector with good relationships with government. I want to build on this and bring a fresh energy to CCN and its advocacy objectives.

“Whilst there are excellent foundations in place, our members face severe financial uncertainty. We must immediately intensify our efforts on making a compelling case for additional funding for the sector, securing the implementation of the Fair Funding Review, and reforms to adult social care.

“However, we must have a wider positive vision for the strategic role of counties in supporting post-Brexit economic and housing growth. A feature of my chairmanship will be to redouble our efforts on articulating the crucial place-based role counties have in economic growth, housing and infrastructure."

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