New Melton Borough Council leader Pam Posnett sets out her priorities at authority’s annual meeting

Councillor Pam Posnett has been elected leader of Melton Borough Council EMN-160524-155556001
Councillor Pam Posnett has been elected leader of Melton Borough Council EMN-160524-155556001
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New Melton Borough Council leader Pam Posnett has set out her priorities, saying one of the main challenges will be to ‘keep a tight rein on the council’s finances’ in light of the authority receiving less funding from the Government.

Mrs Posnett, who was elected leader at the council’s annual meeting earlier this month, said at the meeting: “Our funding is being reduced so we need to be innovative and change the way we commission and deliver our services. We must keep a tight rein on our finances and to achieve this we must make priorities.

“I want to keep council taxes as low as possible.

“Above all, I want to focus on outcomes for all our residents. “

Mrs Posnett, who has succeeded councillor Byron Rhodes as leader, having previously served as his deputy for five years, said her other priorities included delivering the new Local Plan, continuing the work towards a new outer relief road for Melton and building upon other key projects including the cattle market regeneration and Melton Sports Village.

She also announced plans to set up a council group looking at ‘transformation and efficiency programmes’ and another looking at the ‘economy and commercialism’.

Mrs Posnett, a Conservative borough and county councillor, has become Melton Council’s first female leader. Speaking at the annual meeting she said she was ‘honoured’ to be elected as leader and ‘looked forward to continuing the council’s good work.’

Councillor Leigh Higgins (Con) was elected as deputy leader of the council. Mr Higgins, a former Sherrard, Sarson and King Edward VII School pupil, lives in Twyford and is a member of the Royal British Legion and Royal Air Forces Association.

Nominating Mr Higgins for the role, councillor Tracey Beaken said he ‘has a passion to bring inward investment and jobs to the borough’ as well as playing a lead role in projects such as the borough’s sports and leisure vision.

Councillor Elaine Holmes (Independent) was elected leader of the opposition.

Tributes were paid to outgoing borough council leader Byron Rhodes at the meeting and he was presented with a framed letter of thanks from the Prime Minister.

Mr Rhodes (Con), who decided to step down to focus on his roles at the county council, said: “It’s been an immense pleasure to lead this council. I think we’ve achieved quite a lot and set quite a few things going.” Mr Rhodes has said he intends to carry on as a borough councillor for Long Clawson and Stathern ward until the 2019 elections.