New Leader of the Council
Cllr. Simon Tagg has been elected as the new Leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council.
He was voted in at a special meeting of the Full Council which took place to consider the independent report into issues which arose with the General Election in Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Cllr. Elizabeth Shenton resigned as Leader of the Council at the start of last night’s meeting and a vote on a new Leader resulted in Cllr. Tagg being elected.
His Cabinet members are:-
Cllr. Stephen Sweeney – Deputy Leader and portfolio holder for Finance and Resources.
Cllr. Mark Holland – Sport and Leisure.
Cllr. Trevor Johnson – Environment and Recycling
Cllr. Paul Northcott – Planning and Regeneration
As well as being Leader of the Council, Cllr. Tagg will have Cabinet responsibilities for Corporate and Service Improvement, Partnerships and People.
He is currently considering the final Cabinet portfolio of Community Safety and this will be confirmed to staff and elected members in the near future. In the short-term, responsibility for this portfolio area will be picked up by the Deputy Leader of the Council.
Cllr. Tagg has said that the priorities of the new administration will be to implement the recommendations from the Scallan report into the election issues; to ensure a robust and legal budget is agreed and in place ready for the new financial year and to oversee a smooth transition into Castle House.
He also said that beginning to rebuild public confidence in the election process in the borough is something he and his colleagues will be looking to deliver – firstly at two by-elections due to take place on 14 December and then at the first all-out council elections in May next year.
The Leader said: “It is business as usual for our staff and our services. We are facing a challenging few months but by all pulling together I am sure we can make progress on a variety of difficult fronts.
“Mine is a new administration and we will certainly be doing things our way with the goal being the delivery of quality services which our residents value and use.”
At last night’s special meeting Dave Adams, the Council’s Executive Director for Operational Services, was put in place as the interim Head of Paid Service.
Paul Washington, the Deputy Monitoring Officer, was agreed as the interim Monitoring Officer.
And David Sidaway, the City Director from Stoke-on-Trent City Council, was installed as the Acting Returning Officer/Electoral Registration Officer.
Two officers, the Council’s Acting Returning Officer – who is the Chief Executive – and also the Head of Audit and Elections, who is also the Monitoring Officer, are currently suspended pending an internal disciplinary process.