The son of former Rutland County Council leader Roger Begy says he is hoping to continue his father’s legacy after he was elected to his seat.
Nick Begy was elected unopposed on Friday to the Greetham seat his father used to hold.
Roger died in February aged 72 after a short battle with cancer. He had been leader and ward member for Greetham since 2003.
Nick, a self-employed business consultant, had held no political aspirations until then but felt sure his father would have wanted him to follow in his footsteps.
He said: “I’ve always been involved in voluntary work in Oakham, running Oakham Cricket Club and being involved in children’s rugby, but politics was something my Dad did.
“It was only when he died that I thought that I really wanted to carry on his legacy.”
Although Nick lives with his wife Michelle and young son Will in Oakham, he says Greetham has been a large part of his family’s life since they moved to the area in 1984.
His mother Sandy still lives in the village and at Roger’s funeral, held in the village church, it was clear that being a part of the strong community had meant a lot to the couple.
Nick, who has a brother Greg,said: “I just didn’t want someone to be parachuted in. Greetham meant a lot to my Dad and it means a lot to the whole family.
“I’m committed to making a difference to my ward, just as my Dad was.
“For both my dad and myself, our focus was always Rutland and making a difference to our communities. Politics was the next natural step for my dad.”
He said his mum and his wife had both been extremely supportive - and standing for the seat was not something he had taken lightly.
Nick said: “My mum is incredibly proud and she’s been extremely supportive.
“She believes, as the whole family do, that this is what my Dad would have wanted.
“This is not some grandiose gesture - it’s about trying to make a genuine difference.”
Since Roger’s death, his deputy at the time - Terry King - has been elected as leader.
Asked if Nick one day wants to follow in his father’s footsteps, he laughs.
“I was only elected a week ago! It’s only since my Dad died that I’ve truly appreciated how highly regarded he was. I think I’ve got a way to go.”
Elected as a Conservative candidate, Nick says he was extremely surprised to be elected unopposed, especially given that the Whissendine by-election in March was keenly fought by candidates representing the Tories, Liberal Democrats and the UK Independence Party.
It was won by Kevin Thomas, standing for the Lib Dems. It had previously been held by Lib Dem Sam Asplin.
Nick is already looking ahead to the next round of elections in 2019 though, when he hopes to stand again.