Two weeks ago I was
honored to be formally elected as the Leader of Nottingham City Council and I
am proud to share the responsibility of leading our city with a new team that
reflects and represents our city. The
new intake of councillors brings with it new ideas and experiences and I am
ready to lead and work with the talented group of councillors to achieve the
ambitious and exciting pledges that we have set out to the public.
I recognise that the City Council has a role to play in leading by example on equalities. That’s why we included an equalities section in our manifesto for the first time and included a pledge to make sure that at least half of the Council’s Executive and one of the Leader and Deputy Leader are women. Having elected Cllr Sally Longford as the Council’s new Deputy Leader, I am pleased to confirm that the Group have now elected the following members to the Council’s Executive:
- Councillor Cheryl Barnard
- Councillor Eunice Campbell-Clark
- Councillor Neghat Khan
- Councillor Rebecca Langton
- Councillor Dave Trimble
- Councillor Sam Webster
- Councillor Adele Williams
- Councillor Linda Woodings
It is also great to welcome councillors Merlita Bryan, Angela Kandola, Zafran Khan, Leslie Ayoola and Chantal Lee as our new Executive Assistants. The new intake of councillors has seen the number of women increase to 29 out of 55 and the Cabinet becoming predominantly female for the first time ever, while all the executive assistants from a black and minority ethnic background.
At a time of great cynicism towards government, I want Nottingham City Council to stand out as a group of people who do what they say they will do. Setting out our plans and reporting back on the progress of these policies is essential to being accountable to the people we are here to serve. Over the next 4 years, our top 5 priorities for the city are:
- Build or buy 1000 Council or social homes for rent
- Create 15,000 new jobs for Nottingham people
- Build a new Central Library, making it the best children’s library in the UK
- Cut crime, and reduce anti-social behaviour by a quarter
- Ensure Nottingham is the cleanest big city in England and keep neighbourhoods as clean as the city centre
In May, the Council adopted Labour’s 2019 manifesto which will form the basis of council policies over the next four years. The Council has transformed dramatically and we’re having to find creative ways to manage cuts to vital services. Despite these challenges over the last 4 years we’ve delivered in full on 178 out of the 202 commitments in the Council Plan. The message is clear – funding cuts don’t mean we can’t afford to be ambitious, they mean we can’t afford not to be.
As we move forward, partnership working will be crucial to meet the challenges ahead. We will need to refresh and where necessary, reset our relationship with our traditional partners across the city, and beyond, and develop new ones where we can. During the last 2 weeks I have been meeting with partners across the city to explore new and creative ways to deliver vital services to the people of Nottingham and will continue to do this in the weeks and months ahead.