Cheshire East leader resigns as leader of Conservative group


The Leader of Cheshire East Council has resigned as leader of the Conservative Group less than a week after the Tories lost their majority for the first time since the council was formed in April 2009.

Councillor Rachel Bailey announced her resignation at the Conservative Group's Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 7th May - following which Cllr Janet Clowes was unanimously elected as the new Conservative Group Leader.

A press statement issued by The Cheshire East Conservative Group said "At tonight's Conservative Group Annual General Meeting, Cllr Rachel Bailey announced that she would be standing down as Leader of the Conservative Group but will continue as Cheshire East Council Leader until the full Annual Council Meeting on the 22nd May 2019.

"Cllr Rachel Bailey thanked the Group Members for their on-going support, however she feels that having fulfilled her commitments to the Conservative group, it is an opportune moment to step aside to enable a new Leader to take on this important role. Cllr Bailey received a standing ovation from all members of the Group."

Councillor Rachel Bailey, ward member for Audlem, became the first female Leader of Cheshire East Council in February 2016, replacing Councillor Michael Jones who announced his resignation in December 2015.

She has been a Cheshire East councillor since May 2008 and was previously the Cabinet Member responsible for Children and Families.

At last week's local election Rachel Bailey received 746 votes, compared to 1706 in 2015, reducing her majority to just 78 votes.

Councillor Janet Clowes, ward councillor for Wybunbury was appointed Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Integration in October 2017.

The appointment of Councillor Janet Clowes as Leader of Cheshire East Council must be voted on at the next meeting of the Full Council - whose 82 members now consists of 34 Conservatives, 25 Labour, 19 Independent candidates and those representing local groups and 4 Liberal Democrats.



Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Kathryn Blackburn
Wednesday 8th May 2019 at 12:45 pm
Just go.
Richard Armstead
Wednesday 8th May 2019 at 1:07 pm
Well that is a start. This woman has repeatedly refused to engage positively with issues raised in Wilmslow. Her tenure has seen the interests of Wilmslow sidelined. Let us hope that the new balance of power in CEC will see a more representative distribution of investment here. The New Homes Bonus and Parking Services incomes are but two.
Deleted Account
Wednesday 8th May 2019 at 1:12 pm
Standing ovation?

I'm sure Rachel Bailey is well intended and a decent sort and in all fairness she was handed something of a poisoned chalice by her predecessors.

But for many, Rachel's assertions that the recent election failure was due to Brexit just tells me sadly how out of touch some of our councillors are - 'Experienced'' or not.

Oh how that word - "Experienced" - came to haunt the Conservatives.
Nick Jones
Wednesday 8th May 2019 at 2:13 pm
Bullying .."on her watch"...... and Michael Jones.. [ Whilst other were asleep on theirs ! ]
Gina Thompson
Wednesday 8th May 2019 at 9:16 pm
So pleased she has stepped down, she has done nothing for Wilmslow. My vote for an independent councillor had nothing to do with Brexit.
David Smith
Wednesday 8th May 2019 at 10:02 pm
It's a start!
Lynne Prescott
Wednesday 8th May 2019 at 11:42 pm
It would be lovely if all our new independent and other parties councillors could align behind one candidate for leader and really give us a chance at a genuine alternative to the past Tory rule - unfortunately ‘ experienced councillors are somewhat tainted by association now
James MacDonald
Thursday 9th May 2019 at 9:53 pm
Good riddance, out of touch with local politics.