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Why I'm standing for CCA Chairman

Bettison Cllr Paul Bettison, the leader of Bracknell Forest Borough Council, asks Conservative councillors to elect him Chairman of the Conservative Councillors Association

All paid-up members of the Conservative Councillors' Association (CCA) should by now have received an e-mail from the CCA informing you of how to access your voting papers for the annual elections to the Board of the CCA. Having served on the Board for some ten years now, and having been Vice Chairman for the past three years, I have offered myself for election as Chairman of the CCA, following Councillor Sir Merrick Cockell, who is standing down from the Chairmanship after the maximum time allowed of three years in the post.

I have never bothered colleagues with direct canvassing before, as this has not generally been the practice for these elections. This time, however, an opponent for the position of Chairman has seen fit to contact Members directly, promoting a “slate” of candidates, which he hopes that you will vote for en bloc.

I should like to advise you that I have an aversion to “en bloc” recommendations, and that I would be happy to serve as the Association’s Chairman with a Board elected on their individual merits, and not one packed with my own supporters. Such a situation would surely smack of cronyism.

I stand for:
  • An Association that exists to help all elected Conservative Councillors; wherever in the country they may be located.
  • An Association that represents Conservative Councillors, irrespective of what type of council they sit on.
  • An Association where Members feel that they steer the Association, not the other way round.

In order to effectively represent Conservative Councillors at the highest level, it is essential that the Association’s Chairman be known and respected nationally, within the right circles. I believe that I have the right level of experience for this. It is also important that the Chairman of our Association be known to many of our members from all types of councils from every corner of our country.

My service to local government in general, and to the Conservative Party in particular, has given me the privilege of meeting and working with so many of you over the years.

You may be surprised to learn that the turnout for these elections is normally very low indeed. Most of us are simply too busy to open the e mail from the CCA, look up the CVs, print the ballot paper, fill it in by hand, and post or fax it to the CCA.

I admit that this method is somewhat tedious, but it saves our Association considerably over alternative methods and is secure. I ask you to please make the effort to vote for me, and, if elected, I undertake to explore alternative methods of voting which may be simpler, as long as they cost our Association no more and are at least as secure. (If you are unable to login, please contact the CCA on 020 7984 8144 or via email at cca@conservatives.com)

If you agree with what I stand for, I would be grateful if you could please encourage fellow Councillors within your Conservative Group to vote for me also.

If elected, I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible over the forthcoming year, and would encourage you all to be active members of our Association, the Conservative Councillors’ Association.

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