Statement from Cllr Keith Wood, the Leader of Winchester City Council

Press Release: 28/02/2014

I want to make clear my personal plans to help the City Council and the Conservative Group plan for the future.

I do not intend to stand again for election in May. My wife is not in good health and it would not be sensible for me to seek another term.

I intend to follow the route of my predecessor, George Beckett, which worked well in providing a smooth transition. I will continue as Leader of the Council until the election in May 2014 but I will stand down as Leader of the Conservative Group as soon as an election for a successor can be organised. This allows the new Leader to be in place in time for the election.

It has been a privilege to lead the Council in the past two years. I am grateful for the support and advice I have received from councillors, officers and the public not least in dealing with the floods. I am proud of the Council’s achievement in maintaining high-quality services for the people of the Winchester District while freezing Council Tax and supporting the local economy through difficult times.

There are several major schemes coming forward which will do much to resolve the Council’s longer-term financial problems. Winchester has become one of local government’s success stories and has succeeded in blending the historic environment with a vibrant economy which has made it such a popular place to live.

I wish my successor every success.