The new Leader of Rushmoor Borough Council, Councillor Gareth Lyon, has detailed ambitious new priorities as he takes on the challenging top political role in the borough.

The West Heath councillor was appointed as the new Leader last Thursday (7 December), becoming the youngest councillor ever to hold the role at 39 years of age. 

He takes over from Councillor David Clifford, who led Rushmoor Borough Council for seven years before stepping down due to personal commitments. 

Councillor Lyon recently began his second term as councillor last May after serving 11 years as an Empress ward councillor before voluntarily standing down in 2019.Previously while at the council, Councillor Lyon introduced the Rushmoor Community Lottery and steered through the Rushmoor Local Plan. More recently, while serving on the council’s Cabinet, he has brought in support for the Lynchford Road traders, who are struggling with a significant drop in trade a while a major road improvement scheme is under way and set out measures to support local small and medium sized businesses. 

Councillor Lyon has worked professionally in policy and communications roles in healthcare, technology, education and housing among others. He volunteers with the Cove Brook Greenway group and at his local church. 

His main priorities will be: 

  • Completing the regeneration of Aldershot and Farnborough town centres and bringing more people into the towns with events 
  • Caring for neighbourhoods and improving green spaces 
  • Strengthening communities and promoting partnerships and volunteering 

Councillor Lyon says his priority work will be underpinned by a customer first digital-first strategy and sound financial management. 

Joining the Cabinet will be another West Heath representative, Councillor Ade Adeola, whose brief covers Digital First and Corporate services.  

Councillor Calum Stewart will be leading the Council's work on refugee resettlement . 

Councillor Lyon said: “I’m incredibly honoured to be selected as the new Leader of Rushmoor Borough Council and thank all those who have put their faith in me.“My top priority will be to build on the remarkable legacy of regeneration left by Councillor Clifford and to get the town centres done! I want to bring vibrant events to Aldershot and Farnborough and make it a great place to visit. 

“My other priorities will be focussing on caring for our neighbourhoods and green spaces and strengthening our communities. 

“I am really looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead, finding solutions and making Rushmoor a place people choose to live.” 

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