New leader of Cannock Chase District Council appointed after Tories take control

A new leader of Cannock Chase District Council has been appointed after the Conservatives took control in the last election.

The votes have now been counted for the Cannock Chase District Council elections
The votes have now been counted for the Cannock Chase District Council elections

Labour had run the authority as a minority administration since it went to "no overall control" in 2019 after losing their majority.

The party subsequently lost eight seats to the Tories – handing them overall control of the council for the very first time on May 6.

Now, after her victory, Councillor Olivia Lyons, 29, has been named as leader of the council as she unveiled her new-look cabinet.

Councillor Lyons said: "It really is truly an honour to be elected leader of the council. At the elections we put engagement with residents first and foremost and I thank all those who supported us.

"But whether you supported us or not, my cabinet and I will work tirelessly for all our residents and businesses across all the work we carry out on your behalf with officers of the council.

"We have a unique opportunity after this pandemic to build an ambitious future for our district, not only to survive the coming months and years but to actually thrive. I hope to oversee a collective effort from the whole Council to achieve this aim.

"We will put centre stage a commitment to support our economy and especially small businesses, to actively respond to climate change, and to improve our parks and the local environment we have all cherished during these lockdown periods. For example, next month at our first cabinet we will be discussing a parking pilot initiative to boost trade in our town centres."

Councillor Doug Smith was elected as the chairman of the council whilst Councillor Martyn Buttery has been named as vice-chairman.

Councillor Bryan Jones was named deputy leader and in charge of neighbourhood safety and partnerships, whilst Councillor Val Jones was put in charge of community engagement, health and wellbeing.

Other appointments included Councillor Mike Sutherland for district development, Councillor Justin Johnson for environment and climate change, Councillor Adrienne Fitzgerald for housing, heritage and leisure and Councillor Phil Hewitt, innovation and high streets.

Meanwhile, Tim Clegg – chief executive of Stafford Borough Council – will become the joint chief executive of both Cannock Chase and Stafford Borough Councils after it was approved by councillors.

Councillors also agreed to confer Honorary Alderman/Alderwoman status on former councillors Gordon Alcott, Zaphne Stretton MBE, Diane Todd and Patricia Ansell. Formal presentations will made at the next council meeting in July in recognition of their appointments.

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