New leader Jim Currie ready to get on with council business
It was with a gleam in his eye and a faint chuckle that Cornwall Council’s leader Jim Currie denied his new job was something of a poisoned chalice.
After winning the poll 49-46 against Independent Neil Burden, the new Conservative leader of Cornwall Council said it was all about the job in hand.
“I’m not worried,” he said. “We have a financial regime and as long as we get that right we will be alright. I intend to continue that successful formula and adjust it as circumstances change.”
Mr Currie had been elected to the top job with the implicit backing of non-party members who supported his stance against the council’s joint venture with a private sector firm. However, he said that his concerns were with the massive scale of the venture that had been pursued and that he might have been happy with a substantially smaller deal.
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He said the bid – which would have seen Cornwall Council and a private firm form a partnership to run key services – was not dead in the water.
“Never say never,” he said. “It might be an option of last resort.”
But he added: “We are not galloping forward with it at any great haste.”
Mr Currie, who represents Feock and Kea, said he was “not worried” about the resignation of cabinet members Julian German, Graham Hicks, Steve Double and Chris Ridgers.
His first order of business in the top job was to appoint a new deputy, in the form of just-defeated leadership candidate Neil Burden.
Mr Burden said he was delighted with the new role.