A lot longer than it should have been. It felt strange not having to do lots of preparation in advance e.g. what to say and respond to requests for nominations to various committees. The new Mayor, Councillor Pritam Grewal, said some very nice words about me, which I had not expected. I did not vote for him as Mayor last night but he is a very nice man and has always been very courteous with me. If he does half as well as his predecessor, Councillor Amrit Mann, I think that the Borough will do well.
There are new faces on the Cabinet. Councillor Sharma, unlike last year, tried to explain some of the changes, albeit without mentioning any names. He also gave the impression that the decisions were his. My understanding of Labour rules is that the entire Labour Group decide. If I am right, this is at odds with the principle of the Strong Leader Model (introduced by the previous Labour Government). I will not pretend to be particularly excited about the changes. I only hope that they remember that answering questions in the Chamber is important.
The new Leader of the Conservative Group is Peter Thompson. I had the privilege of being his Deputy for six years and wish him all the best over the next couple of years.