Message from the Leader - June
Following the elections on 3rd May, Mole Valley District Council changed from being a Council with a Conservative majority to what's known as a Council in "No Overall Control". Conservatives remain the largest Party on the Council with 20 seats (down from 21) but, together, the other two Parties, have 21 seats - the Liberal Democrats have 14 (up from 13) and the Informal Independent Group have seven.
As Leader of the Council, I believe that my responsibility is to ensure that we remain a high performing Council and continue to focus on doing our very best for all our residents. With that in mind, following the election, I spoke with the Leaders of the other Parties to discuss how we could work together collaboratively in the interests of our residents.
The outcome of those discussions is that, at the Annual Council meeting on 22nd May, I was able to announce a new, Conservative-led, Administration with three Cabinet Members from the Informal Independent Group and five Cabinet Members from the Conservative Group. The Opposition will continue to chair the Council's Scrutiny and Audit Committees which monitor the way MVDC and its Cabinet work and ensure that any decisions taken are appropriate and mindful to the needs of Mole Valley residents. As has been the practice in Mole Valley for some years now, the Scrutiny Committee also considers reports and makes recommendations to the Cabinet before final decisions are taken.
Earlier in the year, the Council approved a 2018/19 budget that not only maintained services but continued to increase the Council's investment in the services that are essential to our most vulnerable residents such as housing, community transport and telecare. In the knowledge that we will continue to face some very significant challenges to our finances, the Budget also sought to secure the Council's financial stability for the next three years. This new Cabinet contains a valuable mix of new skills and experience and I firmly believe that, by combining forces in this way, we are well placed to continue the Council's strong record of delivering the services Mole Valley residents expect and deserve.
I want to ensure that the Cabinet continues to fulfil its strategic and leadership role effectively and so I have changed some of the portfolio responsibilities in the light of experience and changing circumstances. The most significant change is the splitting of the Cabinet post for Planning into two new posts - Planning Policy and Planning Services and Housing. This gives us the resources we need to concentrate effectively on every aspect of the Planning Service and on creating the right conditions for more affordable housing in the District as well as on the essential task of delivering a new Local Plan that has widespread local support.
You can find more details of the new Cabinet here.
Councillor Vivienne Michael
Leader of the Council