Members of Cannock Chase Council have made appointments to key roles at their Annual Council Meeting held last night (19 May). They follow the recent District Council Elections on 6 May.
Councillors have also agreed on a proposal to share the chief executive role with neighbouring Stafford Borough Council.
New Leader of the Council is Councillor Olivia Lyons whose Conservative Group took overall control of the Council in the elections securing a majority of seven seats. Councillor Lyons has become one of the youngest council leaders in the country at the age of 29. She is a ward member for Western Springs in Rugeley.
Councillor Doug Smith who represents Cannock West Ward was elected as Chairman for the new civic year by his fellow Members. His Vice Chairman is Councillor Martin Buttery who represents Heath Hayes East and Wimblebury Ward.
Details were also announced of the new Cabinet which will be led by Councillor Lyons. The Cabinet members are:
Councillor Olivia Lyons, Leader of the Council
Councillor Bryan Jones, Deputy Leader of the Council and Neighbourhood Safety and Partnerships Portfolio Leader
Councillor Val Jones, Community Engagement, Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Leader
Councillor Mike Sutherland, District Development Portfolio Leader
Councillor Justin Johnson, Environment and Climate Change Portfolio Leader
Councillor Adrienne Fitzgerald, Housing, Heritage and Leisure Portfolio Leader
Councillor Phil Hewitt, Innovation and High Streets Portfolio Leader
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive of Stafford Borough Council, Tim Clegg, will become the Joint Chief Executive of both Cannock Chase and Stafford Borough councils following agreement given by Cannock Chase councillors and Stafford Borough councillors, who gave their approval on Monday.
Tim will begin his new role on 1 June, assuming the role of Head of Paid Service on 1 August when the Interim Managing Director at Cannock Chase Council Bob Kean retires at the end of July. He will be supported by two deputy chief executives, one appointed from Cannock Chase leadership team and the other from Stafford Borough’s leadership team.
At an Extraordinary Council Meeting held before the Annual Council Meeting at Cannock Chase, Members 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.
Speaking at the Annual Council Meeting, Leader of the Council, Councillor Olivia 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.”
The new Chairman, Councillor Doug Smith, said: “I am thrilled to have been appointed Chairman of the Council. It’s a great privilege to be the official representative of the Council on civic and ceremonial occasions and to lead meetings of the Full Council, while from a charitable point of view I have decided to support Riding for the Disabled Association – Stafford and District Group during my year of service.”