Council Leadership ‘Steep Learning Curve’

Councillor Liz Green

Liz Green, leader of Kingston Council and local Lib Dems, admitted that taking over the council was a “steep learning curve”. 

Councillor Green took over leadership of the council in June following an unanimous vote by the Lib Dems after Derek Osbourne was arrested for child pornography offences.

She said: “It was quite a surprise to take over. It was obviously not a planned take over or taking over of the leadership. 

“I also was not able to ask about previous things that had been happening. Of course, I asked officers and councillors, but not Derek Osbourne. 

“It’s been a very steep learning curve over the last six months, with all the issues that have been going on.” 

The current leader would also not confirm if she would stand again come the 2014 elections, where the Lib Dems will seek to continue their hold of Kingston which has lasted since 1997.

She said: “I don’t know for June, I never have. This will be my fourth time standing for election and I will never put a commitment in the diary for post-election day. 

“Maybe it’s a superstition that if I put something in my diary that says ‘I will still be a councillor’ or ‘I will still be leader’, then I’m superstitious that will make it not happen. 

“I won’t put anything in my diary and I won’t take any assumptions about what will happen post the elections.”

The council faced a tough time during the arrest and subsequent sentencing of Derek Osbourne for his crimes, which were felt in the Beverly by-election where he was a councillor, but are now adamant a line has been drawn under the incident. 

“He is now in prison, rightly so, and he will remain there. He is a part of our past in this council but that is now fading over time.”

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