Martin Tett was formally elected as the new Leader of Buckinghamshire County Council at the council's annual meeting today (Thursday May 26), heralding a new era for the authority. Martin's deputy will be Mike Appleyard, who has been a county councillor since 1989. The new Cabinet is as follows:
Leader Martin Tett
Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Education and Skills Mike Appleyard
Environment Steven Adams
Health and Wellbeing Patricia Birchley
Children's Services Val Letheren
Community Engagement Martin Phillips
Finance and Resources Peter Cartwright
Planning and Transportation Peter Hardy
Martin said: "I envisage a member-led, customer-focussed council, taking the best of what has gone before combined with the benefits of a new style and focus, placing people at the heart of what we do. We want to make relationships with residents better, and to be seen as working with them.
"Priorities will be roads, improving them across the county. Councillors share the public's frustration with the current state of our roads, and I will want to see visible results over a two-year programme. It's not a problem we can fix overnight, and it will take time but it's a nettle I am determined grasp.
"HS2 represents a huge threat to this county and but, more importantly, would see a high cost to the country and would not deliver the benefits claimed. There are cheaper, less environmentally damaging alternatives.
"Planning for our infrastructure, the skills agenda, economic growth and jobs for our people are other areas which I consider crucial to Buckinghamshire's continued success and to maintain its position as one of the best and most desirable places to live and work in the UK. I see us working towards much greater community engagement, and more member involvement with the reshaping of the health and wellbeing agenda high on our 'to do' list."
Martin and Mike succeed David Shakespeare, who led the Council for the past ten years, and his deputy during that time, Bill Chapple.