Local govt body sits on the fence

Helen Sage reports

The Local government lawyers' group will not be endorsing any single candidate in the coming presidential elections but has urged the Law Society to salvage its public reputation after the elections.

Peter Urwin, chair of the society's local government group, said its executive had deliberated over which candidate to back but decided its members should be given a free vote.

Urwin said: "I think a challenge to the status quo is a good thing provided it does not present itself as public bickering. The Law Society clearly needs some strategic reorganisation."

Urwin would not comment on the current president, Martin Mears, but said he was backing Tony Girling. "I hope the new president will be aware of local government issues, especially compulsory competitive tendering. I hope all members will vote – the Law Society provides backing against unpopular council decision making."