Cllr Stephen Moon has stepped down as leader of Bedford Borough Council’s Conservative Group. He had been in the role for seven years.
He told the Bedford Independent that he’s had “a good innings” but has been considering the move for some time.
At the group’s AGM on 9 May, Cllr Graeme Coombes was put forward as the next group leader. Unopposed he was duly elected into the position with immediate effect.
Cllr Moon, who represents Great Barford Ward, thanked members past and present for their support but said it was time to step down: “It has been a privilege to lead the Conservative Group for the past seven years but there needs to be some fresh ideas.
“An evolution of politics is well overdue,” he said.
Cllr Moon, who represents Great Barford Ward says his focus now will be the needs of his constituents, adding that their needs will help shape the needs of the Borough as a whole.
He told us: “There are many issues that are strategic, such as the local plan, and its impact on our villages and the housing pressures generally that we’re under.
“My interests aren’t just in my ward, which is rural, but also the town centre which serves the whole area.”
Speaking about Cllr Coombes, he added: “There’s a lot to be done, and there are issues we need to highlight, such as the problems in the town centre.
“Graeme has a wealth of experience having been a councillor in Birmingham and London, as well as representing Wilstead & Wixams since 2011.
“He will be very effective in holding the Mayor’s administration to account.”
Speaking about his predecessor, Cllr Coombes, who represents Wilshamstead Ward, added: “Cllr Moon has been an exceptional group leader since 2012.
“He is an example of how politics should be conducted; a formidable presence when questioning those in power but always acting respectfully and with decorum.”
You can read further comments from Cllr Coombes in an exclusive interview with the Bedford Independent tomorrow.
He told us his priorities as the new Conservative Group leader, how he thinks local politics needs to distance itself from what is happening nationally, and his thoughts on the recent Mayoral election.