Agenda item


The Council is requested to note the appointment of the Deputy Leader as may be announced by the Leader.


The Council is requested to note the appointment of members of the Cabinet as may be announced by the Leader.


The Council is requested to note the Cabinet Portfolios as may be announced by the Leader.


The Council is requested to note the Leaders Scheme of Delegation.


The Leader to provide a verbal review of the last municipal year and to report on the proposed policies of the Council for the forthcoming year.


Councillors Cumbers and Fisher made a statement concerning their support of the Leader of the Council.


The Leader congratulated the Mayor and Deputy Mayor on their election and thanked Councillors Cumbers and Fisher for their support and said: 


‘In keeping with public health requirements I will keep my review of the year relatively brief, before moving on to confirm the appointments to the Council’s Cabinet.


It has been a year like no other, and I have said many times how proud I am of how this Council responded to the covid crisis. We have saved lives and protected livelihoods, delivering 3,000 food parcels, 300 medical supplies, and nearly £19m in business grants. We hosted 48 remote meetings and following the ridiculous decision not to allow those to continue, we have organised a covid-secure Annual Meeting and installed new audio visual equipment to ensure the public can continue to watch our meetings on YouTube.


Earlier this month, our incredible elections team ran a covid-secure combined election for the County Council, Police and Crime Commissioner and 4 Neighbourhood Planning Referendums. We should never under estimate the amount of work involved in running an election in normal circumstances, but to do so during a pandemic is an incredible effort. I thought it all went very smoothly and whilst I know accuracy is more important than speed, I couldn’t help but enjoy seeing Melton being one of the fastest in the County to declare its results.


Other notable achievements over the last year include implementing the new digital customer self-service platform IEG4, and the continued improvement in our housing services, as we reverse the chronic decline in the quality of Council homes. This will remain a priority, as well as developing a programme to start building Council homes again.


To support the economic recovery, working with Brooksby Melton College, and the Livestock Market, we have launched a trailblazing Food Enterprise Centre and will shortly be launching a new Discover Melton website and destination map to promote all the area has to offer. We are developing a new, longer term town centre strategy, as well as providing more immediate investment in signage, floral displays and repainting the street furniture. Investment is also going into the Country Park to ensure it continues to be recognised as one of the jewels in Melton’s crown.


On infrastructure, we were one of only 15 areas to secure Reopening our Railways funding as we develop a business case for improvements between Melton and Nottingham. Discussions on the MMDR investment have continued throughout, and we will do what we can to help, but ultimately the decision whether to accept the Housing Infrastructure Funding rests with the County Council and we wait on them for next steps.


The leisure sector has been badly affected by the pandemic and we have had to provide significant financial support to Everyone Active to enable our leisure centres to stay open. This reinforces the importance of our plans to find a sustainable future for leisure services. We are working closely with the CCG to develop a Place-led Health Plan and assess the feasibility of the Health and Leisure Park which could include the second GP surgery we are working hard to deliver.


As we know, it is two years since we fundamentally changed our governance arrangements, and it was timely, earlier this year, to invite the LGA to review progress and offer some recommendations for further improvement. We have taken those on board and in forming my Cabinet I have recognised the need to increase leadership capacity and so we will return to a 6 member Cabinet this year. Also, for the first time, I will be appointing one Cabinet Support Member role to assist with ensuring we deliver our new Corporate Strategy.


We will be continue to be a collaborative Cabinet who work with members across the Council as we support our community and the recovery from covid.


I am delighted to confirm that Councillor Higgins will continue in his role as Deputy Leader, retaining his responsibility for the growth and prosperity portfolio. He will continue to focus on supporting the local economic recovery as well as overseeing our longer term strategic growth aspirations.


Despite the incredible uncertainty created by the pandemic, Councillor de Burle continues to maintain an excellent grip on our resources, enabling us to deliver a balanced budget for the second year in a row. Alongside his existing responsibilities, he will also now incorporate wider governance responsibilities into his expanded portfolio.  


Councillor Freer has done an excellent job leading the implementation of IEG4, the community grants review and kick starting the Council’s climate change agenda. As part of our increasing focus on the environment, I have now asked her to take on responsibility for waste, recycling and environmental services too.


For the final two positions I am delighted to welcome two new colleagues to Cabinet, having split what previously was a very large portfolio.


Councillor Browne will bring his extensive expertise in housing management to the newly created Council Homes and Landlord Services Portfolio. He will oversee our continuing housing improvement journey and work with the team to establish a new Council house build programme.


With his great passion for supporting the most vulnerable, Councillor Graham will take on the newly created People and Communities Portfolio. Giving focus to the work we do with our partners to tackle inequalities, reduce crime and support our priority neighbourhoods.


I am delighted to be able to call upon such capable and experienced colleagues to join the Cabinet in these new roles.


Finally, as mentioned earlier, it is my intention to nominate Councillor Wilkinson as a Cabinet Support Member. I do this now informally but have asked the Constitutional Review Working Group and Independent Remuneration Panel to undertake the necessary work for this role to be formally established. It is my intention that a report will be brought back to our meeting in July to confirm this.


All members will have received a copy of the Portfolio breakdown, alongside the Executive scheme of delegation for your information. My Cabinet and I look forward to working with you all.’

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