Tories choose candidate to be next county council leader

Paul Marshall, county councillor for Storrington
Paul Marshall, county councillor for Storrington

The Tories have chosen their candidate to be the next leader of West Sussex County Council.

Louise Goldsmith stepped down from the role earlier this month saying she wanted to hand over to a new leader so they can prepare for the next round of elections in 2021 ‘in good time’.

However her resignation followed on from the leak of a damning report into children’s services, which were rated as ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted back in May.

The Conservatives have chosen Paul Marshall, cabinet member for children and young people, as their preferred candidate.

In effect this means Mr Marshall will be the next leader of the county council, something which will be confirmed at a full council meeting on Friday (October 18), given the Tories’ large majority.

The Conservative group at WSCC tweeted: “Congratulations to Paul Marshall, elected new leader at our group meeting this morning.”

Ms Goldsmith offered her congratulations to Mr Marshall on Twitter as did Jacquie Russell, cabinet member for fire & rescue and communities, and Tilgate and Furnace Green county councillor Duncan Crow, who also stood for leader.

Mr Marshall was praised, alongside John Readman, director of children and family services, as major ‘assets to improvement’ in the leaked report written by a commissioner looking into whether West Sussex has made adequate improvements in its children’s services following Ofsted’s inspection.