Lib Dems dominate new Rutland Council Cabinet

By Evie Payne

22nd May 2023 | Local News

The new Council Leader and Cabinet were selected. Image credit: Nub News.
The new Council Leader and Cabinet were selected. Image credit: Nub News.

Tonight, Monday 22 May, at the Annual Meeting of Rutland County Council, a new Leader, Chairman and Cabinet were elected.

Despite all 27 Cllrs being in attendance this evening, the Liberal Democrats dominated the first full meeting since the Local Elections, exclusively Liberal Democrat councillors being voted in and selected to fill the Leadership and Cabinet positions available.

Only the Chair and Vice Chair of the newly formed Council are not Liberal Democrats.

Cllr Andrew Brown (Ind) has taken over as Chairman of the Council, having been nominated by Cllr Rosemary Powell (Ind) – a proposal seconded by Cllr Gale Waller (Lib D).

He takes over from exiting Cllr Jeff Dale, whom Cllr Brown awarded a medal for his commitment and time in office. 

Cllr Samantha Harvey (Ind) has taken over from Cllr Nick Begy (Ind) as Vice Chair of Rutland County Council, having been nominated by Cllr Rosemary Powell and seconded by Cllr Lucy Stephenson. 

Following her appointment, Cllr Harvey thanked Cllr Begy for his time in this role.

Council members at tonight's meeting. Image credit: Nub News.

The Leadership of Rutland County Council was much a more heavily contested vote, resulting in Cllr Gale Waller (Lib D) stepping into the role of Council Leader, taking over from former Leader, Cllr Lucy Stephenson (Con).

Cllr Gale Waller was nominated by Abigail MacCartney (Lib D) and seconded by Andrew Johnson, while Cllr Rosemary Powell was nominated by Cllr Nick Begy and seconded by Cllr Kevin Corby (Ind).

Cllr Gale Waller was appointed with 15 votes to Cllr Powell's 12.

Cllr Gale Waller said: "These occasions are always quite stressful, of course, and I am incredibly humbled to be elected as the Leader of this Council. I hope I can do the job justice.

"As I said during the meeting, we want to be far more transparent and engaging, which has been the case for the whole time I have been on the council. I am on record as saying that some years ago, so this isn't new for us.

"Of course, we won't be able to do what everyone wants. You know the old adage, you can please all the people some of the time, or some of the people all of the time. But I hope that residents will understand that if we are not doing what they want, that they will know why we are not, and I think that's what has been missing.

People are not stupid and if you explain why, then they might say 'have you thought of doing this, have you looked at it this way?' but they understand what you're saying and that is what good dialogue is about, and that is what we are aiming for."

Cllr Waller also named her Cabinet:

  • Andrew Johnson (Lib D)
  • Paul Browne (Lib D)
  • Diane Ellison (Lib D) 
  • Christine Wise (Lib D) 
  • Ray Payne (Lib D)  

Cllr Gale Waller will also be stepping up as a Portfolio Holder.

Former Leader of Rutland County Council, Cllr Lucy Stephenson, was not voted onto the Cabinet or as the leader of any Committees.

Check back for more updates about the full composition of the new Council in the coming days.


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