A new cabinet made up of six members starts work next week to make key decisions on behalf of Melton Borough Council in a major change in the way the authority governs itself.
The council agreed the set-up last November in a bid to speed up decision-making compared to the old method of deciding on issues through a series of committees.
The leader, Joe Orson, and his deputy, Leigh Higgins, will be joined by Alison Freer-Jones, Ronnie de Burle, John Illingworth and Alan Pearson in meetings every five weeks to make recommendations on key issues such as the annual budget and major plans.
Their decisions will be regulated by a new scrutiny committee to ensure they remain accountable to the council.
Councillor Orson said: “This Cabinet will bring leadership and public accountability as we work to deliver the best services to the people of Melton.
“We will be a collaborative cabinet who work with members across the council to develop and deliver a new corporate strategy, one that responds to the challenges faced by both the council and our communities.”
Each member of the cabinet will manage a specific area of interest with Councillor Higgins taking on responsibility for the Growth and Prosperity portfolio and helping deliver the infrastructure, housing and job growth which the borough requires.
He will also lead on the future development of leisure facilities, regeneration of the town centre and the promotion of tourism.
Councillor de Burle, who has a strong background in financial management, has taken on the Corporate Finance and Resources portfolio.
He will be driving the council’s commercial agenda and attempting to plug the funding gap. Among his responsibilities will be the maximising of benefits from the council’s corporate property portfolio so more money can be invested in services for residents.
Councillor Freer-Jones has the Corporate Governance, Access and Engagement portfolio, making sure the decision-making process is effective, ensuring services are accessible to everyone and ensuring the council engages throroughly with the people who live in the borough.
Councillor Illingworth, a former planning chair for the authority, is responsible for Environment and Regulatory Services. He will take a specific interest in waste and environment issues, with Melton Country Park, environmental health and conservation important elements of his brief.
Housing and communities are the responsibility of Councillor Pearson, building on his work as previous chair of the People Committee.
Councillor Pearson will be responsible for the council’s housing tenancy management, maintenance and repairs as well as its homelessness and housing options.
He will also play a lead role in prevention and early intervention issues and chair the borough’s community safety partnership.