Ashfield Independent leader asks how Mansfield MP and newly-appointed council leader will be able to 'carry out three jobs at the same time'
A leading opposition councillor has called into question Ben Bradley’s ability to carry out his new role as Nottinghamshire County Council leader – in addition to his responsibilities as an MP and newly-elected county councillor for Mansfield North.
Mansfield MP Mr Bradley won the seat by a landslide in the Nottinghamshire County Council elections last week and on Monday was revealed as the new leader of the authority, following a Tory ballot.
But congratulating Mr Bradley on his appointment, Coun Jason Zadrozny – leader of the Ashfield Independents on the county council – said he was unsure how he ‘would find time to do three jobs’.
The Ashfield Independents stormed to victory in the district in Friday’s count – taking all 10 seats – and doubling their presence on the authority.
And now the county council has confirmed the Mansfield MP has been elected as leader following the Conservatives’ victory in the elections last week, which saw the party pick up 37 of the 66 available seats.
In Mansfield, the Tories took six of the available seats – where they previously had none.
The district now has just two Labour county councillors and one independent.
Bassetlaw also turned blue, with former Labour Group leader Alan Rhodes losing his seat to the Conservatives.
Commenting after the announcement, Coun Zadrozny said: “I wish Ben well, but I have no idea how he will find the time to do three jobs.
“Nottinghamshire County Council faces some significant challenges. Not least the fact that it is half a billion pound in debt with spiralling social care costs.
“There's no doubt that the Conservatives had very good election results in the county. They did well everywhere but Ashfield – where they went backwards.
“We won every single seat and will be using this increased influence to fight for £1m extra every year to fix our broken roads and pavements in places like ours.
“We will continue to fight to save every single SureStart and Children's Centre in the county and fight to get more support during term time for our poorest children.
“We will continue to battle for the Government to publish their fair funding review, for the Government to finally deal with the social care financial crisis and for the county council to keep council tax as low as possible.
"Nottinghamshire County Council has a huge responsibility to lead the recovery from Covid-19.
“It shouldn't be distracted and they need to continue their excellent partnership working with the seen borough and district councils in our county.
“I would ask the new leader to make good promises made in Tory election literature that scrapping our borough and district councils will not happen for his tenure as leader.”
Following his election win on Friday, Mr Bradley, who was formerly an Ashfield councillor, tweeted: “From zero Councillors to now six out of the nine seats in #Mansfield being blue! Plus, we've gained control of Nottinghamshire County Council and unseated Labour's leader.”
Mr Bradley has been approached by Chad to comment on his new role.