Steve Gallant confirmed as first leader of new East Suffolk council
PUBLISHED: 08:52 23 May 2019 | UPDATED: 08:52 23 May 2019
Former police inspector Steve Gallant was confirmed as East Suffolk Council’s first leader at its annual general meeting last night.
Mr Gallant was voted leader of the Conservative group, which has 39 of the 55 councillors on the authority, at its group meeting last week - defeating former Suffolk Coastal leader Ray Herring.
Outgoing Waveney deputy leader Craig Rivett was confirmed as the first deputy leader of the group as Mr Gallant unveiled his first cabinet.
Other members are:
Mary Rudd - Community Health.
David Ritchie - Planning and Coastal Management.
Richard Kerry - Housing.
Stephen Burroughes - Customer Services and Operational Partnerships
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James Mallinder - The Environment
Norman Brooks - Transport
Letitia Smith - Communities, Leisure and Tourism.
Mr Gallant will be responsible for council finances and resources while Mr Rivett will be responsible for economic development.
The new leader said the new administration would be mapping out a 30-year vision for how East Suffolk could develop in the years up to 2050.
He said: "The possibilities for East Suffolk are without limit, and I want to help build a future for East Suffolk that captures that limitless potential."
Economic growth was crucial for the area - and it was crucial to promote this across the district using schemes like Enterprise Zones and Business Improvement Districts.
But it was also vital to protect the area's environment. He said: "The area's wealth of plant and animal life provides our district with some of its greatest financial and health advantages it is therefore vital that we work with others to secure the future of East Suffolk's biodiversity."
At the start of the meeting Colin Hedgley, councillor for Carlford and the Fynn Valley just north of Ipswich, was confirmed as the first ever chairman of the new council.
The Conservatives decisively won the first election for East Suffolk council - but not without casualties as former Waveney leader Mark Bee, former Suffolk Coastal deputy leader Geoff Holdcroft and former cabinet member Andy Smith all lost their seats to Green or Liberal Democrat candidates.
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