Hertfordshire leader elected to represent England's county authorities
Published: 12 Jul 2019
The leader of Hertfordshire County Council has been elected chairman of a cross-party organisation representing local councils.
Cllr David Williams, who has been leader of Hertfordshire County Council since 2017, has been elected as chairman of the County Councils Network (CCN) – which represents all 26 county councils in England and a further 10 rural unitary authorities.
In his new role, Cllr Williams will be responsible for setting out the direction of the CCN and leading on its advocacy for the local authorities it represents. CCN, which is a highly regarded organisation and affiliated to the Local Government Association, has a strong track record of publishing original research to influence government policy on issues including social care, local government spending need and funding and meeting housing need.
Cllr Williams said that his immediate priority for his term was ensuring greater financial certainty for councils, with a recent report from CCN revealing that county authorities, including Hertfordshire, face a cumulative funding gap of £21.5bn over the next six years. He also wants to redouble the organisation’s focus on the leading role counties play in delivering good local growth.
He will take up his new role to replace outgoing chairman of the CCN, Cllr Paul Carter (Kent County Council), from September 2019.
Cllr David Williams, Leader of Hertfordshire County Council, said:
“I am hugely proud and privileged to be elected as chairman of the County Councils Network which, under Paul Carter’s leadership, has become a hugely respected organisation. We will have to move quickly over the coming weeks to make the county voice heard with the new Prime Minister and ministers
“Counties face severe financial uncertainty. We must immediately intensify our efforts to make a compelling case for additional funding for councils and securing long overdue reforms to adult social care. However, we must also have a wider positive vision for the strategic role of counties in supporting post-Brexit economic and housing growth.”