New era at Nottingham City Council

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A new era begins at Nottingham City Council this week with a fresh Cabinet including new Leader and Deputy Leader and predominantly female executive councillors for the first time.

The changes will be formally ratified on Monday 20 May at the first full council meeting since the local elections, which saw the Council Leader of 16 years, Jon Collins, stand down as a councillor. Cllr Graham Chapman retained his seat but stepped down as Deputy Leader.

Cllr David Mellen has been elected as the new council leader and Cllr Sally Longford as Deputy Leader. They, the other executive councillors and their portfolios, will be ratified at Monday’s meeting as follows:

  • Cllr David Mellen – Regeneration, Safety and Communications
  • Cllr Sally Longford – Energy, Environment and Democratic Services
  • Cllr Cheryl Barnard – Children and Young People
  • Cllr Eunice Campbell – Health, HR and Equalities
  • Cllr Sam Webster – Finance, Growth and the City Centre
  • Cllr Linda Woodings – Housing, Planning and Heritage
  • Cllr Neghat Khan – Early Years, Education and Employment
  • Cllr Dave Trimble – Leisure, Culture and IT
  • Cllr Adele Williams – Adult Care and Local Transport
  • Cllr Rebecca Langton – Communities

The new executive assistants will be confirmed as councillors Merlita Bryan, Angela Kandola, Zafran Khan, Leslie Ayoola and Chantal Lee. A new Lord Mayor and Sheriff of Nottingham will also be elected, with Cllr Rosemary Healy and Patience Ifediora replacing Cllrs Liaqat Ali and Cat Arnold in the respective roles.

The new intake of councillors has seen the number of women increase to 29 out of 55 and the Cabinet becoming predominantly female for the first time ever, while all the executive assistants are BME.

Incoming council leader Cllr Mellen said he is proud that the number of women on the council and the Cabinet is more than 50% for the first time, which along with increased BME representation has created a “diverse and talented” group of people to lead the city.

He said: “We wanted to achieve gender balance and increase BME representation so that councillors better reflect the city they represent, and we are proud of doing that straight out of the blocks.” 

He paid tribute to the exceptional contribution that Jon Collins and Graham Chapman have made to the city as leader and deputy leader for the last 16 years and pledged to build on their successes such as the regeneration currently underway in the city.

“The next few years are going to be challenging but funding cuts don’t mean we can’t be ambitious for Nottingham – they mean we can’t afford not to be,” he said. “Our communities benefit when we look beyond the horizon, and we intend to re-engage with them so they can connect with the new jobs and opportunities coming to the city, and so we’re sure we are focusing on the things that matter most to them.”

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