Focus on mental health and nature is aim for new council leader - The Evesham Observer

Focus on mental health and nature is aim for new council leader

Evesham Editorial 21st Oct, 2023   0

AN INCREASED focus on economic growth, nature and mental health has been promised by the new leader of Wychavon District Council

Coun Christopher Day was voted in as the new leader at a meeting on Wednesday (October 18) following the resignation of outgoing leader Coun Bradley Thomas.

The Ombersley Ward representative was elected in 2019 and was previously Executive Board member for Housing, Health and Wellbeing, as well as Deputy Leader.

“I would like to pay tribute to Coun Thomas. Under his leadership Wychavon has maintained a strong financial position, kept Council Tax low, continued to support our local economy and invested in supporting our communities,” Coun Day said.

“We will continue to do all of those things, as well as increase our focus on looking after our natural environment and understanding how we can measure and boost the value our district’s natural capital adds to our economy and society.

“It’s important every resident can make the most of their talent and potential. That’s why we will boost the good work we are already doing around social mobility, as well as focus on our residents’ mental health, to build resilient communities and families.”

To support his new priorities Coun Day has made several changes to Wychavon’s Executive Board including some new faces and role changes. The changes are Coun Aaron Powell who 9s Deputy Leader and responsible for resources, investment and innovation, Coun Dan Birch, responsible for wellbeing, social mobility and transformation, Coun Richard Morris, responsible for economic growth and tourism, Coun Paul Middlebrough, responsible for town and rural vitality, Coun Rick Deller, responsible for housing and regulatory services and Coun Beverley Hardman, responsible for boosting natural capital (new role).

Three roles have remained the same as Coun Emma Kearsey remains responsible for planning, infrastructure and urban design Coun Rob Adams, responsible for strong communities, culture and sport and Coun Emma Stokes is responsible for resident and customer services

Coun Thomas’ resignation brings the curtain down on his five-year leadership of the council, which included guiding the district through the coronavirus pandemic. He will continue to represent the residents of Harvington and Norton Ward on the council.

Freezing Council Tax, delivering a new youth homelessness prevention scheme in Evesham and the world class Evesham VeloPark were highlighted by Coun Thomas as among the achievements he was most proud of.

“Throughout my time as leader we have maintained residents’ interests throughout, as well as put the environment at the centre of everything we do,” Coun Thomas said. “Our work on new design codes will set the district up for long-term prosperity. In short, we are a standout council that is the envy of the local government sector.

“I would like to thank everyone who has played a role from officers to members and partners. I will remain a councillor and give my full support to Coun Day and the new administration.”


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