The new Leader of Rushmoor Borough Council, Councillor Gareth Williams, has set out his priorities for Rushmoor and appointed a new Cabinet as he begins his new role.

Councillor Williams, who represents Empress ward in Farnborough, which encompasses the town centre, was appointed as the new Leader on Tuesday (21 May) at a meeting of Annual Council.

He is the council’s first Labour leader for 24 years, following the local elections in May where Labour took an overall majority at Rushmoor Borough Council.

At the meeting, the new members of his Cabinet were also confirmed. They are:

  • Councillor Sophie Porter - Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for community and residents
  • Councillor Keith Dibble - Cabinet member for development and economic growth
  • Councillor Abe Allen – Cabinet member for enabling services
  • Councillor Jules Crossley – Cabinet member for policy, climate, and sustainability
  • Councillor Becky Williams – Cabinet member for neighbourhood services
  • Councillor Christine Guinness – Cabinet member for regeneration and property

Councillor Gareth Williams with the member of his new Cabinet

As the new Leader, Councillor Williams has been working closely with the Cabinet and the Labour group to set their main priorities. These are:

  • Accountability for all – being open with residents and publishing an independent report on the council’s financial resilience as well as quarterly updates on the council’s finances
  • Safe communities for all – tackling antisocial behaviour by investing in mobile CCTV units and community safety officers, as well as expanding youth crime prevention programmes
  • Decent homes for all – introducing a rented property registration scheme to make sure that tenants get a fair deal and a decent place to call home
  • Clean streets for all – keeping Rushmoor clean and bringing mega skips to key sites in the borough to help residents get rid of their bulky waste and reduce fly-tipping
  • Facilities for all – provide the facilities that residents and local businesses need for a healthy and prosperous borough. This includes bringing forward plans for town centre and leisure facilities that are fully costed, sustainable and deliverable

Councillor Williams said: “As the newly-elected Leader of the Council, I know that residents are looking to us to deliver change and I would like to thank the people of Rushmoor for putting their faith in us - we won’t let you down. This is a new era for Rushmoor; our priorities reflect the feedback we received from our residents on their doorsteps, the most important of which is our commitment to open and accountable governance.”

Councillor Williams added: “I also want to offer thanks, on behalf of the residents of Rushmoor, to the previous Leader of the Council, Cllr Gareth Lyon, and his Cabinet for their service to the community over many years, and to all the departing councillors who have served their wards so faithfully.”

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