5th Dec, 2016

County leader role is an 'honour'

Joshua Godfrey 22nd Jan, 2016 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

THE NEW leader of Worcestershire County Council has spoken of his honour at assuming the new role.

Coun Simon Geraghty became the youngest leader in the authority’s history after he was elected at a full council meeting last Thursday (January 14), with Coun Anthony Blagg being appointed his deputy.

The 39-year-old takes over from Coun Adrian Hardman, who led the County Council for five years, before he stepped down from the position following his drink driving conviction.

Coun Geraghty will now step down as leader of Worcester City Council so he can focus on his new role at County Hall.

He will also take over responsibility for finance, putting the new leader in control of the council’s £327million budget.

“It is both an honour and a privilege to become the new leader of Worcestershire County Council,” he said.

“I have been part of a leadership team that has achieved a great deal in recent years – not just reforming services and balancing the books but setting out a clear plan to take our county forward.”

“This job is undoubtedly one of the toughest leadership roles in the county and comes at a time when local Government is facing renewed financial challenges,” he said.

The new leader has also said he still believes in the plans, put in place by his predecessor, to make the local authority more ‘efficient.’

“However, I firmly believe in the ambitious plans we have to improve our county and deliver services in an even more efficient way.

“Each year we spend more than £300million which, together with the receipt of specific grants, is more than £1million every single day,” Coun Geraghty added.

“Worcestershire has the third fastest growing economy in the country, while at the same time faces increasing demand for our services from an ageing population and greater numbers of children in our care.

“I’m determined that we continue to look at new ways of doing things to deliver even better outcomes for our residents and businesses,” he added.