Greenslade to step down as county Lib Dem leader

North Devon councillor Brian Greenslade has announced he is handing over leadership of the Liberal Democrats at county level, but will remain a Lib Dem councillor.

NORTH DEVON councillor Brian Greenslade has announced he is stepping aside as leader of the Liberal democrat group on Devon County Council after 23 years.

With effect from the end of this year, Mr Greenslade will be succeeded by Tiverton East County Councillor Des Hannon.

“When I became Leader of North Devon Council in May 2011 I offered my county colleagues the opportunity to elect a new leader,” said Mr Greenslade, who is councillor for Barnstaple North.

“They asked me to stay on, which I agreed to do, but I made clear that I would not want to continue as leader in the next county council after the elections on May 2, 2013.

“As we are about to move into the county council election year I think it makes sense for me to step aside for a new leader to take over for the run in election.

“The DCC Lib Dem Group have accepted my advice and elected deputy leader Des Hannon to succeed me.”

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Mr Hannon said: “As leader my top priority is to support Lib Dem candidates right across Devon as they work to win May’s elections.

“I’m humbled that colleagues have put their faith in me and well aware that no new leader could match Brian’s experience or finesse!

“It has been my privilege to serve under Brian’s leadership since 2005 and as his deputy since 2009. He’s been a dominant figure in progressive politics in Devon for over two decades and his achievements have been immense.

“Brian’s legacy in his beloved Devon is assured. Whether selling Exeter Airport at precisely the right time and price, forcing the government to act over foot and mouth or getting Barnstaple its bypass, he has been a force of nature working on Devon’s side.

“On a personal note, I want to thank Brian for being there throughout my political career to date, teaching me how to get things done and always retaining his wicked sense of humour. I’m also relieved he won’t be far away.”

Mr Greenslade said he would continue to play his part as a member of the Liberal Democrat group, as chairman of the corporate services scrutiny and a member of various committees.

He also intends to seek re-election to his county council seat.

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