Councillor Louise Gittins elected Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council

22 May 2019

Councillor for Little Neston, Louise Gittins, has been elected to lead Cheshire West and Chester Council for the next four years.

Nominated by outgoing Leader Councillor Samantha Dixon and voted in at last night's (Tuesday) Council meeting, Councillor Gittins thanked Councillor Dixon for 'bringing respect back in to the heart of the Council'. Councillor Karen Shore was confirmed as Deputy Leader of the Council.

Accepting the role of Leader, Councillor Gittins said: "Thank you for electing me to be the new Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, I am humbled to be in such a privileged position.

"I would like to pay tribute to our previous leader Councillor Samantha Dixon. Sam has transformed this council; she brought respect back into its heart. Her approach was ambitious, daring and outward looking, building collaborative partnerships in the public and private sector.

"Sam has given us a strong and influential voice in the region. Despite the huge pressure from central government cuts, Sam has ensured that the most vulnerable in our communities have been protected. Under your leadership Sam, we are an awarding-winning council, thank you."

Councillor Gittins announced her Cabinet, which includes three new members.
  • Councillor Karen Shore - Deputy Leader's portfolio which includes Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport
  • Councillor Nicole Meardon - Cabinet Member for Children and Families
  • Councillor Paul Donovan - Cabinet Member for Democracy, Workforce and Localities
  • Councillor Richard Beacham - Cabinet Member for Housing, Regeneration and Growth
  • Councillor Val Armstrong - Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health
  • Councillor Carol Gahan - Cabinet Member for Finance and Legal
  • Councillor Louise Gittins - Leader's Portfolio which includes Wellbeing - culture, leisure, heritage and greenspace
She also indicated her intention to appoint three Leader's Champions, designed to tackle three 'extraordinary challenges' facing the borough - Climate Emergency, Poverty and Inequality and Mental Health. Councillors will be appointed to these roles at the next meeting of the Cabinet.

Councillor Gittins was first elected to Cheshire West and Chester Council in 2011 to serve Little Neston and Burton. She became Shadow Spokesperson for Culture and Leisure in 2012 and Shadow Deputy Leader in 2014. The 2015 election saw Councillor Gittins become Deputy Leader of the Council, as well as taking on the portfolio of Communities and Well Being.

She lives in Neston with her husband and cats and loves all things outdoors, culture and heritage.

Councillor Gittins added: "My vision for the next four years is that of a compassionate Cheshire West and Chester that works to build stronger communities.

"Against the background of austerity, we need to rebuild the safety nets eroded by cuts. I want us to continue to create services based on social value, strive to tackle poverty and discrimination, promote equality and fight prejudice wherever we see it. Residents should feel safe on their streets and secure in their homes.

"I want us to continue to empower local people and ensure communities are at the heart of decision making, like we've seen through our Poverty Truth Commission.

"I believe that this is vital for us to be the best borough in the country. Our Council should be one our residents can be proud of and I’m looking forward to working towards that over the next four years. I won’t let you down."

Councillor Bob Rudd, a member for the Chester City and Garden Quarter ward, was re-elected as Chairman of the Council with Councillor Bob Bisset as Deputy Chairman.

Councillor Margaret Parker was confirmed as Leader of the Conservative Party, supported by Councillor Lynn Gibbon as Deputy Leader.

Councillor Parker's shadow Cabinet includes the following.
  • Councillor John Leather - Opposition Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport
  • Councillor Jill Houlbrook - Opposition Member for Children and Families
  • Councillor Helen Weltman - Opposition Member for Democracy, Workforce and Localities
  • Councillor Lynn Gibbon - Opposition Member for Housing, Regeneration and Growth
  • Councillor Lynn Riley - Opposition Member for Adult Social care and Public Health
  • Councillor Neil Sullivan - Opposition Member for Finance and Legal
  • Councillor  Stuart Parker - Opposition Member for Culture and Leisure
The Leader of the Liberal Democrats is Councillor Paul Roberts.

Councillor Louise Gittins
Cllr Louise Gittins

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