In September 2019, leader of Kent County Council, Paul Carter, announced that he will be leaving the Authority, officially stepping down on 17th October 2019. Following this announcement, an election was held at the Kent County Council’s AGM on 4th October to decide on who will take his place to lead the conservative group for the foreseeable future.
It was Member of Sevenoaks North and Darent Valley, Roger Gough, who was elected by his colleagues to take on responsibility of the country’s largest County Council, having been first elected into KCC back in 2005. Roger Gough is currently Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education, and received the majority vote over 3 competing KCC members; Deputy Leader of KCC, Cllr Peter Oakford; Cabinet Member for Highways, Cllr Mike Whiting; and Sevenoaks West representative, Cllr Nick Chard.
Roger Gough has already suggested prioritising areas such as building and protecting invisible and sensitive services KCC manages but the public don’t physically see, as well as reducing the gap between East and West Kent in regards to deprivation and prosperity.
Commercial Services Group
Commercial Services Group is one of the largest, local authority owned, trading organisations of its kind in the UK. With its schools supplies division set up nearly 70 years ago by Kent County Council, it grew organically to become one of the leading suppliers of products and services to other publicly funded organisations, including; education establishments, local government, emergency services and the voluntary and community sector. Commercial Services has now undergone a period of further evolutionary development, creating a private limited company corporate structure, wholly-owned by Kent County Council, aligned to seizing opportunities for further growth beyond its established customer base and markets.
With corporate headquarters and warehousing facilities based near Maidstone in Kent, Commercial Services Group employs over 700 people, selling and brokering in excess of £600m per annum. It is distinguished in Education Supplies (Kent County Supplies), Energy (LASER & Lumina), Recruitment (Connect2Staff, Connect2Kent and Connect2Hampshire) plus selected Operational Services markets, providing a wide range of quality products, services and solutions at competitive prices to both public and private sector customers. In addition to directly supplied products and services, Commercial Services Group also manages a range of OJEU compliant framework contracts, which are accessible to other public bodies, saving them the time and cost of going out to competition separately.
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