A new leader has been appointed at Conservative-led Wealden District Council and has been ratified by a full meeting of the authority held today.
Conservative Councillor Ann Newton, previously the deputy-leader, takes over from Councillor Bob Standley, who announced he was stepping down earlier this year after 12 years as leader and would not be standing for re-election to the authority next year.
At today's meeting, the new deputy leader of the authority was announced as fellow Conservative Councillor Philip Lunn, who remains in the Cabinet as the portfolio holder for Commercial, Economic Development and Leisure.
A new Cabinet Committee was also announced by Councillor Newton, who is 56 and has represented Framfield & Cross-in-Hand since 2007.
She will remain as the portfolio holder for Planning and Development while former leader Pam Doodes (who represents the Bexhill & Battle ward of Herstmonceux & Pevensey Levels) becomes the lead member for Climate Change, Public Health and Community Leadership; Richard Hallett MBE is the new portfolio holder for Governance, Customer Services and HR; Ray Cade (Herstmonceux & Pevensey Levels) stays on portfolio holder for Housing with Waste Management added to his responsibilities; and Neil Waller joins the cabinet with responsibility for Finance and Benefits.
Councillor Newton paid tribute to Councillor Standley saying : "I sit here feeling inadequate and very much in his shadow. He was a brilliant long-standing and hard-working leader and I have a very, very daunting task to follow. It was only due to Bob that the council has the excellent financial status that it has, with his previous experience he has kept us afloat in difficult times. His measured reaction to dealing with difficult problems has been second to none.
“I thank him, and I hope on behalf of all of us here today, can only add that I wonder what he is going to do with his spare time, or the time he has left when I’m not ringing him up.”
Also at the meeting, Councillor Ron Reed was appointed chairman of the council for a further year with Councillor Angela Snell as his deputy for a second term.