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Annabelle Blackmore is new council leader

Saturday 7th June 2014

ANNABELLE Blackmore has been appointed the new leader of Maidstone Council after winning a closely contested vote in today's mayor-making ceremony. 

The ward member for Marden and Yalding, who succeeded Chris Garland as leader of the Conservative group a week ago, was backed by her own councillors and some Independent members to win by 25 votes to the 22 cast for Lib Dem group leader Fran Wilson, who was backed by the two Labour councillors.

Despite a UKIP party conference in Eastbourne taking place this weekend, the group had three of its four newly elected borough council members in attendance. They all abstained.

Cllr Blackmore (48) was elected to the council in 2003. Her deputy will be Cllr Malcolm Greer, with Cllr Steve McLoughlin, who also represents Marden and Yalding, one of those installed into her cabinet.

Cllr Richard Thick, who represents Headcorn, succeeds Cllr Clive English and becomes the mayor for the next 12 months.

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