Following a vote of no confidence at last weeks Full Council AGM, Councillor Sybil Ralphs, was voted out as leader of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council.
In a leadership challenge on Thursday 14 April, Cllr Ralphs, was effectively voted out by the Staffordshire Moorlands Conservative Group and replaced with Councillor Paul Roberts, however, chose not to handover her post as leader. To move the council forward and solidify the leadership of Cllr Roberts, Councillor James Aberley of Churnet Valley and Chairman of the local Conservative Association, tabled the vote to remove Ralphs, followed by a second motion to replace her with Roberts.
After 15 years of Ralphs’ leadership, the news marks a dramatic change in direction for the Staffordshire Moorlands.
Long serving councillor, Roberts, who was elected to represent Caverswall ward in 2003, said “I am extremely pleased to be formally confirmed as leader by the Full Council, and am looking forward to making positive change for the people of the Staffordshire Moorlands.
“My very first job as leader will be to immediately engage with the organisers of Scooterfest to arrange use of Leek’s Trestle Market for their upcoming event. In addition, having listened to residents views, I will also be reviewing capital spending projects such as the trestle market refurbishment and the car park strategy.
“Having already met with market traders to discuss their views on the market and its future, I have already agreed that the market will move back on to Derby Street from Wednesday 11 May, along with the reopening of the car park on Market Square to hopefully drive footfall.”
Cllr Roberts has since outlined his fresh new cabinet team and their portfolios, including; himself, Leader responsible for Planning and the Corporate Plan; Mark Deaville, Deputy Leader, responsible for Sports and Leisure; Ross Ward responsible for Communities and Procurement, James Aberley responsible for Customer Services, ICT, Parking and Assets; Mike Worthington responsible for Finance; Sav Scalise responsible for Environment and Waste Collection; Keith Flunder responsible for Tourism, Arts and Culture and Regeneration; Joe Porter responsible for Climate Change and Biodiversity.
Roberts is keen to hear from residents about what they’d like to see happen across the Staffordshire Moorlands and invites people make suggestions direct via email to email@example.com.