County elects its former leader as its new chairman

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COUNTY councillors have chosen the council’s former leader Jeremy Pembroke as its new chairman.

Cllr Pembroke, who stepped down as council leader in 2011 following the furore over chief executive Andrea Hill’s salary and departure, was elected chairman at the council’s annual general meeting on Monday.

He said afterwards: “It is a great honour to be elected chairman especially this of all years, the year Suffolk will celebrate HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games. My wife and I look forward to it immensely.”

Cllr Pembroke has represented Cosford division, which includes the parishes of Bildeston, Cockfield and Lavenham, for 11 years and was council leader from 2005. He has previously said he will not be standing in the next election.

He takes over as from Patricia O’Brien, who during her year as chairman raised £5,500 for Cystic Fibrosis by hosting a number of fundraising events. Cllr Pembroke has announced that his chosen charity for his term in office will be Suffolk Family Carers, which helps more than 14,000 people caring for loved ones with health problems or disability.

The new vice-chairman is Anne Whybrow who has represented Stowmarket South for six years.

Kathy Gosling will be taking on the post of chairman of the Health Scrutiny Board, following her previous role as county cabinet member responsible for health.