Northampton council’s deputy leader loses role after successful challenge by colleague

Councillor Mike Hallam has been replaced as deputy leader on the borough council following a vote.
Councillor Mike Hallam has been replaced as deputy leader on the borough council following a vote.

A cabinet re-shuffle by Northampton Borough Council’s controlling Conservative group has seen its deputy leader replaced following a successful challenge.

Councillor Jonathan Nunn will become the new deputy of the authority after he successfully challenged the incumbent Councillor Mike Hallam (Con, Headlands) to the role at the group’s annual meeting last week.

The announcement of the new council cabinet at the Guildhall. 
Councillor Jonathan Nunn is the new deputy.

The announcement of the new council cabinet at the Guildhall. Councillor Jonathan Nunn is the new deputy.

Councillor Nunn is understood to have won the vote at the Conservatives Billing Road offices on Friday by a narrow margin to take the position off his colleague.

There was no challenge to the leader, Councillor Mary Markham (Con, Park) at the meeting.

Councillor Hallam has also seen his role as member for finance on the cabinet moved over to a new role in the cabinet as member for “community Safety.”

He said on losing his deputy position: “This is a standard process that we do every year.

“Jonathan was successful this year and I wish him all the best this year.”

Councillor Brandon Eldred, who has held the cabinet post for community engagement for a number of years, will now take up the finance post.

The new roles will be effective from tomorrow while there will be an official meeting at the Guildhall on Friday to announced the position changes.

Authority leader, Councillor Markham said: “We’ve had a very productive and busy first year in office, and this experienced team of councillors are all committed to taking Northampton forward and meeting the financial and organisational challenges that are ahead of us.”

However the opposition Labour group has complained that the Conservative group has effectively “created” another new cabinet role by appointing Councillor Nunn as deputy.

Labour’s leader, Councillor Danielle Stone (Lab, Castle) said: “What will Councillor Jonathan Nunn do as deputy leader?

“He doesn’t seem to have any responsibilities but will still get a special responsibility allowance.

“In April 2015 there were six cabinet members but since Councillor Mary Markham took over the job she has increased this to eight. We have more cabinet members achieving even less than six did.

“It would be interesting to know why Councillor Markham moved Councillor Mike Hallam from finance to community safety after only a year in the job. Why is he no longer deputy leader of the borough council?”