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County Council Leadership Decision Next Week

Spencer Flower

9:27am 29th November 2014

A decision about who will lead Dorset County council after Spencer Flower stepped down  will be made next week.

It's after Councillor Flower was charged with three offences under the Localism Act.

Spencer Flower stepped aside after he was charged, handing temporary leadership to his deputy, Robert Gould.

Next Wednesday councillors will decide whether to remove Flower from office completely and appoint a new leader, or to appoint a temporary leader till the county annual meeting on April 23rd next year, or till whenever the current leader can resume office.

Spencer Flower's due before Bournemouth Magistrates Court the previous day, December the second, over alleged failures to declare an interest in a property company.

A meeting of Dorset County Council will be held next week to decide the on-going leadership of the authority.

This follows Cllr Spencer Flower's decision to step aside as leader after he was charged by the police over alleged failures to declare an interest in a property company.

Last week Cllr Flower handed over leadership responsibilities, on a temporary basis, to his deputy Cllr Robert Gould - though he formally remains the leader of the council.

Council members will now decide on longer term leadership arrangements while court proceedings are completed.

The agenda item for the meeting states:

"The county council is asked to consider the arrangements for the office of the leader of the council. As the leader has advised that he is unable to fulfil his duties for a period in excess of six weeks, members are asked to consider whether:

o To remove him from office and appoint a new Leader, or
o To appoint a county councillor to act as leader on a temporary basis until the annual meeting of the county council on 23 April 2015, or until such a date as the current leader is able to resume office."*

The members' decision will help the county council to continue focus on its important work transforming services at a time of unprecedented budget reductions.

The council meeting will be held at County Hall, Dorchester on Wednesday 3 December at 10am.

Cllr Flower has been charged with three offences under section 31 and 34 of the Localism Act 2011. The case will appear before Bournemouth Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, 2 December.

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