Fri, 22 May 2015
YOU have cast your votes – now it’s time to meet the councillors who will be responsible for West Berkshire’s education, planning, finance, housing and other key decisions over the next four years.
Peter Argyle (Con, Calcot), pictured above who was previously chairman of West Berkshire Council in 2011/12, was unanimously chosen to serve again by his 47 Conservative peers at a meeting on Tuesday.
He will replace outgoing chairman Jeff Beck (Con, Clay Hill).
Quentin Webb (Con, Bucklebury) has been appointed as the vice-chairman,
Gordon Lundie (Con, Lambourn Valley), who guided his party to a 48-4 majority victory in the recent local elections, was appointed to serve as leader of the council for a second term.
Paying tribute, Hilary Cole (Con, Chieveley) said: “Since becoming leader nearly three years ago Gordon has led us through some difficult financial times.
“He is an outstanding orator and speaks with passion and integrity.
“He is focused on achieving results and led us to a significant election victory. I am confident he can continue to guide us through more challenges.”
Mr Lundie said: “The job of being a leader of a local authority is very difficult and challenging one.
“You have to make quite challenging decisions and it’s difficult to get that right all of the time.
“I do not get it right all the time, but I want to try and continue to get the balance right.
“I am privileged to be able to do the job on behalf of this council.”
Graham Pask (Con, Bucklebury), previously in charge of partnership, equality, communities, community safety, Hungerford Vision and Eastern Area Vision, has stood down from his portfolios.
Irene Neill, previously responsible for children and young people, has stood down as both a portfolio holder and as a councillor.
Dominic Boeck (Con, Aldermaston) will take charge of education, while the council’s deputy leader Roger Croft (Con, Thatcham South and Crookham) will be portfolio holder for finance, insurance, health and safety, pensions, ICT and human resources.
First-time district councillor Lynne Doherty (Con, Northcroft) will be responsible for children’s services.
Leader Mr Lundie will be responsible for council strategy and performance, legal, and strategic support.
Alan Law, previously in charge of finance, will take on responsibility for planning regeneration, economic development and local area visions.
Hilary Cole, who had been in charge of planning, will take charge of adult social care and housing.
Garth Simpson (Con, Cold Ash) will be responsible for highways and transport and emergency planning, which will include flood alleviation schemes.
And Keith Chopping, previously in charge of adult social care, will take on responsibility for property (council), culture, customer services, environmental health, trading standards, countryside, cleaner and greener and waste.
Former vice-chairman of the council, Graham Jones (Con, Lambourn Valley), will be the portfolio holder for health and wellbeing, while Marcus Franks (Con, Speen) will be in charge of partnerships, equality and community safety.
The four Liberal Democrat councillors left will share the shadow portfolio holder responsibilities between them.
Lee Dillon (Lib Dem, Thatcham North) will be shadow portfolio holder for finance and vision and partnerships.
Mollie Lock (Lib Dem, Mortimer) will be shadow portfolio holder for children's services and adult social services.
Alan Macro (Lib Dem, Theale), the group’s new leader, will be opposition spokesman for planning and housing, while Billy Drummond will be opposition spokesman for highways and transport.