Plymouth replaces one Conservative Leader for another

Plymouth changes its Leader ahead of the May when one third of the seats come up for election.

Currently neither of the major parties have overall control.

Richard Bingley replaces Nick Kelly as new council leader

Carl Eve www.plymouthherald.co.uk

Plymouth City Council has elected Cllr Richard Bingley as its new leader after Cllr Nick Kelly lost a vote of no confidence. Cllr Kelly, a Conservative for the Compton ward, had been leader of the council since the Conservative group won the largest number of seats in the May 2021 elections.

But his position became less secure after several resignations and suspensions, meaning the Tories had the same number of councillors as the Labour group. Cllr Kelly’s annual budget included a 1.74 per cent council tax increase, but he failed to get it approved after Labour brought an amendment to freeze council tax for the next financial year – other than the one pre cent ring-fenced for adult social care.

Labour launched a vote of no confidence in his leadership, which has now passed with 29 votes for, one absention, and 23 against. Speaking after the vote, he offered his thanks to people including Lord Mayor Terri Beer and other council staff, and described it as an “honour and a privilege” to become leader.

Cllr Bingley and Cllr Vivien Pengelly [both Conservatives – Owl] were proposed as new leaders and in a vote Cllr Bingley won 26 votes, Cllr Pengelly won 12, and there were 15 abstentions. Cllr Bingley is a Conservative and represents the Southway Ward on Plymouth City Council. He is currently chair of Brexit, Infrastructure and Legislative Change. In April last year, just before elections, he was described by his party.

Who is new leader Cllr Richard Bingley?

They said: “Richard is an education and training director, living and working in Plymouth. In Southway, he recognises the urgent need to improve the basics, as the ward’s roads are in disrepair, fly-tipping hotspots are left neglected, green space and play areas are becoming less well maintained.

“Richard has leadership experience – in the government, higher education and security sectors and will use these skills to proactively promote Southway as a place to live, work and invest. Richard will offer a strong voice for all residents living across Tamerton, Southway, Widewell and Belliver.” He also has a number of business interests.

His register of interest lists the following: UK Global Cyber Academy LTD, City Security & Resilience Networks LTD, Saveourstatues.org.uk, Security Consultants Handbook – book sales, and ad hoc consultancy work.

Related to this work, earlier this month he wrote an article for the Express website saying that the Kremlin is trying to control people using social media. You can read it here. In November 2021 he reacted angrily at a debate over speed limits on the A38, adding: “None of us want to see fatalities on the A38 or any other road so to pretend otherwise is distasteful.

The worst debate that we have had since I have been elected to this place.”

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