Shona set to be Cambs youngest leader

COUNCILLOR Shona Johnstone is set to be Cambridgeshire County Council s youngest ever leader. She has today been selected to lead the County Council s majority Conservative Group and as such she will be nominated automatically as the Leader of the Council

COUNCILLOR Shona Johnstone is set to be Cambridgeshire County Council's youngest ever leader.

She has today been selected to lead the County Council's majority Conservative Group and as such she will be nominated automatically as the Leader of the Council at the annual Council meeting on May 15.

Councillor Johnstone aged 44 years, has been a member of the County Council since 1993. Since May, 2005, she has been Cabinet Member for Children and Young People's Services responsible for the education and social care of children and young people throughout the county - including special educational needs, fostering and adoption services.

Prior to that she held Cabinet responsibility for Environment and Transport issues (2001-2005) where she drove through the creation of the world's largest Guided Bus project now under construction in Cambridgeshire.

In her role as children's champion, Shona was also a member of the Cambridgeshire School Organization Committee, the Care and Education Partnership, Early Years and Childcare Advisory Board and the Teachers Joint Consultative Committee.

Prior to taking up her County Council role, the married mother of three from Over was a Civil Servant. Outside of her Council work she is also a Non-Executive Board Member of the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (Addenbrooke's Hospital).

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She said: "I am honoured to have become Leader of the Conservative Group and I am deeply indebted for the trust they have shown in me. I look forward to leading the County Continued...

Council through the many challenges it faces in the future - not least the continuing rapid expansion of the county's population and the pressure that will being on the services we provide to all sections of the community."

Her election of the new Group Leader and nomination for leadership of the Council came after Councillor Keith Walters stepped down from both roles following a decade in charge.

Councillor Walters was first elected to the County Council in 1995 and became Leader of the Council two years later in 1997. During his period in office Cambridgeshire has risen to become the fastest growing county in England placing huge demands on public services. Over this time the County Council has been regularly praised for providing good value for money and for the quality of many of its services.

He said: "I am immensely proud of what we have achieved over the past ten years and delighted that Councillor Shona Johnstone has been selected to carry on the good work. She has proved to be a highly committed local Councillor, a very professional and competent member of the Cabinet and an accomplished member of the Council. I'm sure she will continue to work extremely hard on behalf of the Cambridgeshire community - whatever their political persuasion.

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