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NEW LEADER: New St Albans Lib Dem and council leader shares aspirations for the future

 Published on: 4th June 2024   |   By: Panayiota Demosthenous   |   Category: Uncategorized

This month, StAlbansnews spoke with councillor Paul de Kort, who was recently appointed the new leader of the St Albans Lib Dems.

Cllr de Kort has lived in Harpenden for 32 years and has worked in St Albans for 18 years.

When asked about his favourite parts of the area, cllr de Kort said: “I’m a keen runner and cyclist, and we have fantastic parks and green spaces in the district. I’m a regular at The Horn too, as I love live music!”

Previously the head of Sixth Form at Beaumont School, cllr de Kort became a town councillor in 2019, then a district councillor and county councillor, and is now the leader of the Lib Dems and the Leader of St Albans City & District Council.

He said: “The problems in the district are problems with success. But we must not minimise them. We have one of the most thriving city centres, which leads to traffic, congestion, and an increase in housing prices and rents.”

Attention has been drawn to the St Albans Local Plan, which is now one of the oldest in the country, dating back to 1994. Cllr de Kort explained that the council is  focused on producing an updated version of the plan.

He said: “We want to deliver to the residents. I am really keen on all community voices being heard and not just those who are best placed to articulate it. We have a wider level of support compared to other parties, but we also focus on talking to people.”

He admits that stepping into the shoes of former leader councillor Chris White is a big challenge, but says he is up for the exciting new venture.

He continued: “We have a track record for listening, and we are going to keep on listening. We don’t have all the answers, we are humble enough to admit, but we will listen.

“We know that residents are the ones filling the ballot boxes, and they have given me confidence from that.”

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