A new leader and manager were announced at Somerset County Council’s annual general meeting – the first since the May election.
Liberal Democrat councilor Bill Revans was confirmed as leader of the Council and announced that Cllr Liz Leyshon would take on the role of deputy leader.
Councilor Mike Best was elected as Council Chair and Councilor Hazel Prior-Sankey as Vice-Chair. The nominations were proposed by the Liberal Democrat Group and unanimously backed by councilors at the meeting.
The Council cabinet will be replaced by an executive, with cabinet members now known as senior executive members and junior cabinet members known as senior associate members.
In his address to the full Council, Cllr Revans said: ‘I am determined that within the limits set by the government, this administration will strain every element of what a unitary council can do to support our vision of a Somerset fairer, greener Somerset, more flourishing Somerset. A Somerset that cares and listens to all its people.
“Under our leadership, the new Somerset Council will be built on the shared values that run through our communities. In building a team to realize this vision, I invited members of my group to support me as core executive members. Given the volume of work they will have to put this process in place in the next ten months, I have also asked ten Associate Core Members to support them. »
The new Principal Executive Members and their areas of responsibility are as follows:
- Deputy Leader of the Council and Senior Member of Finance and Human Resources – Cllr Liz Leyshon
- Core Member for Children and Families – Cllr Tessa Munt
- Senior Adult Social Care Member – Cllr Heather Shearer
- Core Member for Transport and Digital – Cllr Mike Rigby
- Core Member for Public Health, Equalities and Diversity – Cllr Adam Dance
- Senior Member for Local Government Reorganization and Prosperity – Cllr Val Keitch
- Core Member for Environment and Climate Change – Cllr Sarah Dyke
- Senior Member for Development and Assets – Cllr Ros Wyke
- Core Member for Communities – Cllr Federica Smith-Roberts
Senior Associate Members (formerly known as Junior Cabinet Members):
- Associate Senior Member for Governance and Communications – Cllr Derek Perry
- Senior Associate Member for Finance – Cllr Peter Seib
- Associate Principal Member for Education – Cllr Caroline Ellis
- Adult Associate Senior Member – Cllr Mike Stanton
- Associate Principal Member for Transport and Digital – Cllr Mike Hewitson
- Associate Senior Member for Public Health – Cllr Ross Henley
- Associate Principal Member for Economic Development and Foreign Investment – Cllr David Woan
- Associate Principal Member for Environment and Climate Change – Cllr Dixie Darch
- Associate Senior Member for Development and Assets – Cllr Sarah Wakefield
- Associate Senior Member for Communities – Cllr Nicola Clark
The executive will be responsible for all Somerset County Council services and overseeing the local government reorganization program to establish the new single unitary council on April 1 next year. Then, from April 1, 2023, they will be responsible for all services currently provided by the county and four district councils, ranging from social care for adults and children to highways and housing, and from libraries to planning and licensing. .
Cllr Revans added: “It is important to us that this council has a positive relationship with the residents of Somerset. And we all know that the key to any successful relationship is listening. I want us to be a listening board. Use the shift to unity and the development of local community networks to give residents a real role in shaping the functioning of the new council. It is a riding of communities and I want the voices of the communities to be heard.