Leader and Executive confirmed for 2023/24
Top team confirmed at annual Council meeting
A new Leader and Executive have been confirmed following West Berkshire Council's annual meeting on Thursday (25 May).
The new appointments follow the district council elections which saw the Liberal Democrat party take the most seats and form a new administration. The full results are available to view online.
The Executive Members for 2022/23 are as follows:
- Lee Dillon - Leader of Council - Strategy Communications and Public Safety
- Jeff Brooks - Deputy Leader of Council - Governance and Transformation
- Iain Cottingham - Finance and Corporate Services
- Martin Colston - Regeneration, Growth and Strategy Development
- Alan Macro - Adult Social Care and Health Integration
- Heather Codling - Children, Education and Young People's Services
- Janine Lewis - Public Health, Culture, Leisure, Sport and Countryside
- Adrian Abbs - Climate Action, Recycling and Biodiversity
- Denise Gaines - Highways, Housing and Sustainable Travel
- Tony Vickers - Planning & Community Engagement
The Executive is the main decision-making body of the Council. They make the key decisions - those that affect two or more wards or where decisions will have a significant impact on the Council's budget. Each councillor has responsibility for a specific area (or portfolio) as outlined above.
Speaking about the new appointments, Councillor Lee Dillon, Leader of West Berkshire Council said:
"I'm excited to be nominating a strong group of Councillors to sit on the Executive and help take our agenda forward over the next four years.
"We are committed to working hard on behalf of all our residents and our Executive Membership reflects this. Between them they represent urban and rural communities and the east, centre and west of the district. We have a mix of newly elected and re-elected councillors to bring together new ideas and skills, and extensive experience of the council. We also have three female Executive members, above the average of 20% of our group councillors to further ensure a range of voices and views are heard.
"Together they put us on a forward footing to deliver on our plans and meet the challenges of the years ahead and we're looking forward to getting started."
At the meeting a new Chairman was also appointed with Councillor Jeremy Cottam taking up the role. The Chairman is the formal representative of West Berkshire Council and as well as presiding over Council meetings they also officiate at civic functions and also welcome distinguished visitors of national and international significance on behalf of the district.
Speaking on his appointment, Councillor Jeremy Cottam said:
"I'm very proud to be elected Chairman today and am grateful to my fellow councillors for their trust and confidence in electing me to the role. West Berkshire is a great place with great people and I am privileged to be able to represent the Council and the district's residents at events and civic occasions."
Councillor Ross Mackinnon has become leader of the opposition for the Conservative Party.
About Council Meetings
Council meetings take place around five times a year and all 43 elected members are invited to attend. Council is responsible for setting the council's budget and financial strategies, planning and transport policies and the Council Strategy, as well as agreeing any changes to the Constitution.
Members of the public can attend Council meetings and those living or working in West Berkshire can submit questions to Council that relate to any business of the Council or the wellbeing of this district. Details of upcoming Council meetings, which are streamed live on our YouTube channel, are published online.
About Executive Meetings
The Executive is the main decision-making body of the Council. It comprises up to ten councillors from the ruling political party, including the person chosen by that party to be Council Leader. The Leader chairs the meetings. The other Executive members (or Portfolio Holders as they are sometimes called) each have a responsibility for a particular area (portfolio).
The Executive meets in public usually every six weeks. As with Council meetings, members of the public are able to attend these, submit questions in advance or follow them live on YouTube (details above).