Good news follows bad for Grantham councillor Ray Wootten

Councillor Ray Wootten was elected chairman of Lincolnshire County Council on Friday.

Coun Wootten, who lives in Grantham and is a district councillor for South Kesteven, was chosen to undertake the role at the local authority’s annual meeting.

The news follows his resignation from the role of chairman of the Lincolnshire Police and Crime Panel last week following a grilling by the Home Affairs Committee in London on Tuesday.

He was called before the committee to discuss Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick’s decision to suspend Chief Constable Neil Rhodes - a decision since labelled “irrational” and “perverse” by a judge.

The committee heard Coun Wootten, whose panel was set up to hold the crime commissioner’s actions to account, failed to call an extraordinary meeting for 72 days, then when the meeting was held on May 9 it was 15 minutes long and the public were unable to gain entry.

Coun Wootten said he was given legal advice stating he could not hold a meeting of his own panel to discuss the suspension.

However, a statement was later released saying his comments to MPs were wrong and announcing he will step down as panel chairman.