The first meeting of the new West Berkshire Council took place last night.
The council’s monitoring officer conducted the vote to formally install Liberal Democrat Councillor Lee Dillon as leader of the council after 18 years of Liberal Democrat rule.
Councillor Dillon (above) was keen to indicate a change of style in the way the council makes its decisions:
“We face many opportunities, but we face many challenges. How we make decisions on those can improve, and we can. It will involve more councillors from all parties in this process.
I encourage those of you who want to be champions to be so – stand with each other free from party influence, because it’s a cause that you care about.
My portfolio holders will be opening up advisory boards, free from political balance, but based on your skill and knowledge as individual councillors. We want to hear from you all so that we can focus on improving West Berkshire.
And we won’t be marking our own homework, but we will have councillors from the opposition benches taking on the chair and vice chair roles of the scrutiny committee.
We go into this new administration with new hope, but we have to be clear that the challenges are great.”
The meeting also appointed the new council chairman, its executive members, committee chairs and vice-chairs and representatives on outside bodies.