REDBRIDGE: New Tory leader pledges 'clearer vision' for borough

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: New Tory leader Keith Prince New Tory leader Keith Prince

REDBRIDGE Cllr Keith Prince has pledged a "clearer vision" for the borough after seizing power of the Tory group in a leadership contest last week.

Cllr Prince will replace Alan Weinberg as the leader of the ruling Conservative administration in May.

It comes after a council meeting on March 17, which saw leader Cllr Weinberg, 61, ousted as leader by his own party, along with his deputy Linda Huggett, who will be replaced by Cllr John Fairley-Churchill.

It is expected the move will also see him become the new council leader.

Cllr Prince told the Guardian: “The administration needs a more visible leadership, better quality contact with the residents and more engagement with communities and organisations.

“But most importantly we need a new vision of the borough and a clearer political strategy.”

Cllr Prince praised Cllr Weinberg but said it was time for change.

He said: “Cllr Weinberg has done a lot of good things for Redbridge and these should be recognised.

“He has already congratulated me for my election and I have thanked him for all he has done for the party.”

Alan Weinberg, who has held a seat in Clayhall Ward since 1982, was elected leader of the Council and the local Conservative group in May 2006.

Tory Cllr Gary Monro, who nominated Cllr Prince and Cllr Fairley-Churchill to contest the positions, pointed at the economic crisis and its particular effect on the borough of Redbridge as the causes that have led to consider a change in the party’s leadership.

He said: “The Government will not give us any more money so we need to rethink how the borough and its budget are managed, and this requires a new leadership.”

“Internally, the party needs to have more knowledge about the different areas of the borough."

GUARDIAN Q AND A: Cllr Keith Prince

Who are your political heroes? Margaret Thatcher and Lee Scott

Who is your favourite musician? Elton John

What is your fondest memory? Seeing my baby being born and attending an Elton John concert.

What is your favourite food? Pizza, especially vegetarian Roma.

Who would you like to be stuck on a desert island with? Elton John and Heather Small.

What is you favourite hobby? Politics.

How do you like to relax? I don’t.

Why did you enter politics? I was 18 and I had to decide between standing at the local pub complaining about everything and doing something about it.

Comments (1)

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11:25pm Wed 25 Mar 09

Morris Hickey says...

Well done Keith. Over the last three years you have willingly engaged with the public regarding your cabinet portfolios, and I am confident you will continue to do so as Leader of the Council. It will be a welcome change.
Well done Keith. Over the last three years you have willingly engaged with the public regarding your cabinet portfolios, and I am confident you will continue to do so as Leader of the Council. It will be a welcome change. Morris Hickey
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