Carl Les has become the new leader of the Conservative group on North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC). Les was unopposed for the post. It is now expected that Cllr Les will become the new leader of NYCC when it meets to elect a new leader next week.
The post of NYCC leader became vacant earlier this week after Cllr John Weighell stood down after 14 years in charge of the authority.
Cllr Les has an eighteen year career in North Yorkshire politics. In that time Cllr Les served as a member of the North Yorkshire Police Authority, the body which oversaw the illegal payment of nearly £100,000 to Chief Constable Grahame Maxwell and Deputy Chief Constable Adam Briggs. The pair were later asked to repay the monies by North Yorkshire Police & Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan, but declined to do so.
Cllr Les first came to the attention of the North Yorks Enquirer after an audit was performed of a small number of councillor’s mileage claims. The audit showed discrepancies in Cllr Les’ claims, which were later featured on the BBC Inside Out investigative journalism show which aired in February 2014.
These are good times for the Les family. Cllr Les recently sold the Leeming Bar A1 motorway service station after winning a lengthy legal battle for it to become an official service station. Cllr Les first applied for official status in July 2009 under the Town & Country Planning Act.
Members of Cllr Les’ family are also set to benefit from the compulsory purchase of land required to build the Bedale Bypass, which is set to open in the summer of 2016.