Saturday, February 24, 2024

New Leader for South Kesteven District Council

The new Leader of South Kesteven District Council is Cllr Ashley Baxter, who was voted in at a meeting of the Full Council on Thursday.

Cllr Baxter, who steps up from his role as Deputy Leader, was voted in by 29 votes to 25 (with one abstention) ahead of Conservative Cllr Graham Jeal, who is part of the South Kesteven Coalition Group.

Cllr Baxter takes over from Cllr Richard Cleaver who resigned at the start of the meeting after being in the role since May 2023 when an Independent-led coalition formed a new administration following local elections.

Cllr Baxter, the Independent member for Market and West Deeping, paid tribute to Cllr Cleaver’s record as Leader.

He said: “This change of leadership is not the result of any crisis or instability, and I don’t intend that it should be the cause of any instability. There are 70,000 households that are relying on us to deliver efficient, effective, value for money services.

“We can only do that if we all play our part and work together, cross-party, cross-chamber, members and officers alike. Of course we need constructive abrasion but we all need to remember that ultimately, we’re all on the same team. Thanks for appointing me as Team Captain.”

As a member of the Council’s Cabinet, Cllr Baxter will continue to oversee the Finance and Economic Development portfolios.

Cllr Cleaver becomes Deputy Leader and retains the Property and Public Engagement portfolios.

Other Cabinet members and their responsibilities remain the same:

  • Cllr Rhys Baker and Cllr Patsy Ellis, Environment and Waste
  • Cllr Phil Dilks, Housing and Planning
  • Cllr Philip Knowles, Corporate Governance and Licensing
  • Cllr Rhea Rayside, People and Communities
  • Cllr Paul Stokes, Leisure and Culture


Picture: Cllr Ashley Baxter. Image courtesy of South Kesteven District Council

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