England & Wales Democracy, devolution and governance

Cllr Sir Merrick Cockell to become new chairman of LGA this week

Cllr Sir Merrick Cockell to become new chairman of LGA this weekSir Merrick Cockell is to become the new chairman of the Local Government Association – taking over from Baroness Eaton at the LGA conference later this week.

The victory of Cllr Cockell against Cllr David Parsons from Leicestershire was unexpected by some quarters, considering the normal dominance of the Shire Counties. It is historically unusual for a chair of the LGA to be from London as the electoral maths are weighted in favour of councils outside of the Capital.

It is tempting to see the appointment as Cllr Cockell as another example of the political dominance of London – see Andrew Rawnsley’s column in yesterday’s Observer. However, this should be set against the LGA’s historical preference for leaders outside of London.

According to ConservativeHome, Cllr Cockell “has pledged to make the LGA more transparent and to provide better value for money. His arrival should also herald a more constructive relationship with the Communities Secretary Eric Pickles”.

Cllr Cockell has been an elected member of RB Kensington and Chelsea since May 1986 and was knighted in 2010 for his services to local government. He is also the former leader of London Councils.

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LGA conference

Andy Sawford, Dan Garfield and Chris Naylor will be at the LGA conference. All three are keen to meet with LGiU members to hear your ideas and update you on new LGiU opportunities with Ministers and Whitehall.

If you would like to arrange a time to meeting, please call Dan on 020 7554 2803 or 07825 745625.