Brighton and Hove Green council leader to step down

Posted On 15 Dec 2011 at 6:19 pm

The leader of Brighton and Hove City Council has said he will step down.

Councillor Bill Randall, the country’s first Green Party council leader, has been in the job for less than a year.

He took the post when the Greens became the largest party at the local elections in May.

At a meeting of the full council he became mayor-elect. He is due to take over as mayor next May.

The Conservatives nominated Councillor Denise Cobb but were outvoted by Labour and the Greens.

The current mayor, Councillor Anne Meadows, will become deputy mayor from May.

The Greens have not yet said when they will choose a replacement.

Councillor Randall, 68, represents Hanover and Elm Grove and has a particular interest in housing policy. He founded Inside Housing, one of the leading magazines for the housing profession.

He also has a strong interest in economic issues and the welfare of young people, particularly those in care.

He said: “It was always my intention only to serve as leader of the council for a year and I think, with my experience as both convenor of the Green Party and leader of the council, I can bring a great deal to the role as the city’s first Green mayor.

“It’s an extraordinary privilege to be chosen as mayor of this city which is a very special place to live.

“I’ve established very good relationships with a large number of organisations across the city and I will further develop those relationships for the good of the city in my year as mayor.”

Councillor Geoffrey Theobald, leader of the opposition Conservative group, said: “I wish Bill well. I’m sure that he will be a good mayor.

“It is surprising that having been the convenor and become council leader that he should wish to give it up so soon after taking office.

“Usually leaders of councils enjoy their position because they are leading an administration whereas the mayor is a figurehead and indeed sadly it appears that the mayor’s position is not as prominent as it used to be.”

Councillor Gill Mitchell, leader of the Labour group, said: “It is surprising that after just seven months the Greens are easing out their leader and making him mayor.

“I am sure that Bill will make an excellent mayor for the city but hope that this move does not reveal more division and disarray within the Green administration when they should be working in the best interests of the city in difficult times.”

  1. Aaa Reply

    I didn’t think the Greens believed in Mayors.

  2. Valerie Paynter, Reply

    There are two kinds of Mayor and Aaa, your comment is mischievous and silly. The Greens were very prominent and got the city its referendum on the Directly Elected Mayor issue some ten years ago, putting paid to Lord Bassam’s attempt to seize the Fiefdom of Brighton & Hove for himself as its Directly Elected Mayor.

    The job of Mayor (a different one every year) is ceremonial but much more importantly in some respects it is also about presiding over a huge number of community and other events around the city and lending civic importance and recognition to them.

  3. Luke Walter Reply

    The Conservatives should be reminded that Brian Oxley was leader of the council for one year only – from May 2007 until May 2008. I guess Theobald’s memory isn’t so good.

  4. Aaa Reply

    No Val, it’s a point of view. We are all free to speak, and we have to listen to you enough. Of course I meant a civic type mayor, Brighton doesn’t have the other FYI.

  5. Valerie Paynter, Reply

    Aah can you point to a source for your belief that the Greens don’t believe in mayors – given that we only have the civic, ceremonial kind and that the directly elected, governing kind was seen off all those years ago? If not, then you have slandered them.

  6. Aaa Reply

    First slander is only spoken. Secondly you can only slander a person not a organisation. Thirdly you cannot slander through a question. Any more legal advice and I’ll have to charge.

  7. Valerie Paynter, Reply

    ….so just a cheap shot then.

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