Agenda item

Announcement by the Leader of the Council on the Size and Membership of Cabinet and Cabinet Members' Remits


The Leader of the Council reflected on his term of office to date and noted the following achievements in that time:


·         South Kesteven District Council had gone through immense change over the last three years, not only in how it worked as a Local Authority but also in terms of reforming the services it provided

·         The Council had been proactive and transparent in addressing performance challenges and legacy issues, particularly in relation to housing, contract management and asset management

·         The Council provided community leadership throughout the Covid-19 pandemic to businesses, residents and communities and was in the top 10% of authorities in the country in the distribution of its Covid-19 Business Support Grants as a result of the processes it put in place

·         The Council was considered to be one of the most proactive authorities locally, working with the NHS in relation to testing and vaccinations

·         During the last two years a review of the management structure had been completed, resulting in a much stronger, resilient, forward-looking Senior Management Team, as well as saving £1.2 million in costs, led by a Chief Executive who had been shortlisted for ‘Chief Executive of the Year’ through the Municipal Journal annual awards

·         The Council had achieved a balanced budget year after year, in extremely challenging circumstances, with more engagement with Members from across the Chamber than ever before

·         The Council had in place its Corporate Plan, providing strong strategic direction in respect of the ambitions of the administration, delivering on what it wanted to achieve

·         The Council underwent its first ever open peer review in the history of the Authority, with the resulting report being hugely complementary whilst providing recommendations and key direction for the future. The Leader shared the following key comments from the review:

-       There was a strong commitment from the political and officer leadership to improvement, with leadership from the Leader and Chief Executive integral to the significant progress made to date

-       South Kesteven District Council could be proud in recognising and celebrating what it had achieved in the past 18 months and look forward to achieving its full potential

-       South Kesteven District Council had good relationships with a wide range of partners, including Home England, the Local Enterprise Partnership, businesses and neighbouring Lincolnshire authorities

·         The Leader outlined that this demonstrated how far the Council had come in the last three years and gave him huge impetus in taking the organisation forward and in tackling those areas for improvement


The Leader confirmed Cabinet Portfolios for the forthcoming year as follows:


Councillor Kelham Cooke – Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Growth


Councillor Adam Stokes – Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Finance and Leisure

Councillor Robert Reid – Cabinet Member for Housing and Property


Councillor Linda Wootten – Cabinet Member for Corporate Governance and Licensing


Councillor Nick Robins – Cabinet Member for Planning and Planning Policy


Councillor Mark Whittington – Cabinet Member for Waste and Climate Change


Councillor Rosemary Trollope-Bellew – Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy


Councillor Annie Mason – Cabinet Member for People and Safer Communities


The Leader paid tribute to all Cabinet Members retaining their Cabinet Portfolios for the personal achievements they had made in respect of the previous year, together with areas of focus over the coming year. He also thanked Councillor Barry Dobson for his work as the previous Cabinet Member for Leisure and gave recognition to the immense contribution and time put in by the Council’s Chairmen, Vice-Chairmen and Committee Members of all Committees, whose valued input contributed to the success of everything the Council achieved.


Over the next year the Leader looked forward to seeing the following:


·         Continued progress on the St Martin’s Park development, which would deliver significant benefits to Stamford and throughout the district

·         Progression of plans for the Council’s new depot, bringing significant benefits to the Council’s operations and its residents, providing the Authority with stability for the future

·         The embedding of the new Constitution, setting out improved governance across the Council

·         Development of a much needed Asset Management Plan for the Council, setting out how it would manage its assets effectively

·         The transition to new office accommodation, providing a modern, open and flexible working environment for the Council’s staff and saving £300,000 year, as well as providing an regeneration opportunity in the centre of Grantham

·         Development of a key internal and external communications plan

·         Continued commitment to apply and bid for Government funding, building on the success of the £5.5 million from the Future High Street Fund and £1.2 million from the Heritage Action Zone Fund which would help transform Grantham Town Centre

·         Development of a programme of investment from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund of over £3.9 million over three years, which would cover all four towns of the district and its rural communities


The Leader stated that the Council had demonstrated a strong record over the last few years, even with the challenges it had faced, but he remained confident and determined to make South Kesteven the best place to live, work and visit and thanked all Members for their continued support.


A Point of Order was raised which sought clarification as to whether it was permissible for the Leader of the Council to make an announcement with no restriction on the length of his speech and without any ability for Members to ask questions in response in respect of this item. It was confirmed that there was provision within the Constitution to allow for the Leader of the Council to announcement his appointments to Cabinet in the way that had been facilitated at the meeting.