New leader of North Northants Conservatives 'exceptionally honoured' to be elected

Cllr Smithers says he wants to help create an award-winning council

Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 3:17 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 3:18 pm
Jason Smithers (left, white shirt and black face mask), in conversation with Lloyd Bunday and Russell Roberts.

The new leader of the Conservative group in North Northamptonshire has said he is 'exceptionally honoured and privileged' to have been elected.

In just over three years, Cllr Jason Smithers has risen to the top of his party and now wants to use his drive and ambition to help create an award-winning council.

Conservatives across North Northamptonshire enjoyed huge success at the new council’s first ever elections last Thursday (May 6).

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They won 60 out of the 78 seats on offer including every single seat in East Northants and all but one in Kettering and Wellingborough.

Cllr Smithers, 48, said: "I'm exceptionally honoured and priviledged and proud that the group had seen to elect me as their leader which I don't take that vote of confidence lightly.

"And as I have explained to every single one of the members, I will be an exceptionally hard working individual. It's in my nature.

"I am a quick learner and happy to try things and make sure that we do things correctly.

"The fact that I have been quick through the ranks would hopefully put me in good stead to be able to develop this new council even on to more greater things."

Cllr Smithers said it was important for him to inspire the next generation and added: "I'm really keen to see younger people coming in to the ranks.

"And on this intake of 60 seats that we have won, there is some younger and ambitious individuals coming through which is really, really reassuring.

"That's what I would like to see is that young talent nurtured to be our future leaders like myself."

And asked about the qualities that helped get Cllr Smithers elected, he said: "I would suggest that they like my forthright attitude, they would like my ambitious side and they liked that I really push the boundaries and want 110 per cent out of everybody and don't want to not achieve where we need to be getting.

"So I guess that's what they're looking for. They wanted someone with that drive.

"I've demonstrated that over the last three years and the initiatives that we've brought in to thermal road patching to the road master systems which can do hundreds of metres of road repair within days.

"These are new ways of doing business and it's about efficiencies and I look for efficiencies in everything.

"And if we can do something by spending some money which will have a payback over five or six months then it gets me, it gets my ears, it gets my attention.

"And if we can bring that sort of mindset into local government, it's an absolute win, win.

"Because we would like to see the most efficient, functioning council in the country and as I said to the members last night, I want North Northamptonshire Council to be an award winning council quite quickly."