The Executive welcomed two new members in line with the new Administration’s bid to ensure that the council’s powerhouse includes members according to their skillsets and availability and not the political hats they wear.
For some considerable time residents have been calling for representation on the Executive from the eastern villages. They argue that as the east of the borough is taking 45% of Waverley’s housing quota, including the new garden village at Dunsfold, they need a local voice where it matters most – on the EXECUTIVE.
The existing council leaders have heard the clamour in Cranleigh for a woman who has proved herself to be a strong, but reasoned voice, for the eastern villages in Elizabeth Townsend to be given important portfolios. They have listened to residents – which is the pledge the Rainbow Coalition made to the public in May 2018. They said when the new Executive was formed, that the various areas of responsibility would be reassessed after a reasonable period.
That time has now come. On Tuesday Council Leader John Ward (Farnham Residents’) welcomed the new members Independent Cllr Townsend who represents Cranleigh West and Cllr Peter Clark (Farnham Residents’) Farnham Wrecclesham and Rowledge.
Council Leader John Ward said “That point had now been reached and, with the experience of time, some adjustments are needed as it is clear that some of the members of the Executive have been overburdened. I am now re-balancing this by reducing the workload of some members and also taking the opportunity to refresh the Executive by bringing in new talent.”
David Beaman, Mark Merryweather, Andy Macleod and Nick Palmer are all relinquishing some of their responsibilities and John Neale is stepping down from the Executive to concentrate on leading Farnham Town Council and also representing the Town on the new Farnham Project Board.
“I have appointed Peter Clark and Liz Townsend to the Executive not only to pick up these relinquished responsibilities but also other areas of importance. Their definitive Portfolios are still the subject of discussion and will be released shortly but they bring a depth of experience together with an increased geographic spread to the Executive as well as recognition that the group of Independent Councillors are now a valued part of the Administration.”
Which just may be good news for Cranleigh’s beleagured Leisure Centre? Keep everything crossed over there in the eastern villages?
John Ward also took the opportunity to thank all the Executive Members for their hard work during this first year of the new Administration.
Saying: I am very proud to lead this multi-Party Group that has achieved so much during this time. For instance we have set a new strategic direction for the Council, declared a Climate Emergency and, in a new spirit of openness and cooperation, increased the Council’s direct engagement with its residents and also with our Town and Parish Councils. We have presented a balanced Budget with one of the lowest Council Tax rises in Surrey. Also as promised transparency and accountability have been improved by making Councillors more answerable to their electorate with the introduction of recorded electronic voting. I am sure the new members of the Executive will continue to espouse these principles.”
You can listen to the meeting in the link below. Well worth taking the time. One of the best interactions between a Leader of the council and members of the public that the WW has ever heard. A lesson in how to put nervous speakers at ease and feel comfortable.
The Executive consists of the Leader, who is elected by the Full Council, and up to nine councillors appointed by the Leader, one of whom is designated as the Deputy Leader.
The Executive is responsible for proposing new policy and the budget to the Full Council and for implementing and delivering the agreed policy framework and budget. Executive responsibilities are divided into portfolios.
The work of the Executive is set out in a Forward Work Programme which contains the key decisions the Executive expects to make over the next four or more months. It also gives notice of any reports which will be discussed in Exempt (Confidential) session where the public are excluded from the meeting. The Executive agenda which gives notice and includes brief details of those items to be discussed in (Exempt) is on the website.
The day after the meeting, an Executive Decision Bulletin is published which lists the Executive decisions taken and sets out those matters that can be called-in for scrutiny by the Overview and Scrutiny Committees.