New Council leader sets out commitment to build recovery

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(Last Updated On: September 4, 2020)

Councillor Alan Connett, Teignbridge District Council’s newly elected leader, pledges to continue the council’s commitment to tackling climate change, and creating housing and jobs for local communities.

Councillor Alan Connett was elected the new Leader of Teignbridge District Council at today’s (Thursday, September 3) full meeting of the Council. He succeeds his Liberal Democrat colleague Gordon Hook.

Setting out the ambitions for the council, Cllr Connett confirmed the priorities continue to be climate change, jobs and homes with an overarching response to the impact on the district caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cllr Connett, who represents the Kenton with Starcross ward, has served on Teignbridge since being elected in 1995, and was previously Council Leader between 2003 and 2011.

As a result of his election as Leader, there are some minor changes to the Council’s Executive. Councillor Connett has appointed Cllr Richard Keeling to lead on corporate resources and Cllr Nina Jeffries will resume her role in charge of business improvement and tourism.

To help build a cross-council response to Covid-19, the new Leader has made a personal invitation to Teign Valley councillor Stephen Purser (Conservative) to join the Executive without portfolio.

An accountant by profession, Cllr Purser’s role on the Executive will have a particular focus on supporting an economic recovery in the district.

Councillor Connett said: “This is an exceptional time to be taking over as council leader and I want to pay tribute to Gordon for his commitment and passion in leading Teignbridge since May last year. Gordon has always fought for what he believes in and he has an innate sense of fairness and justice and a strong desire to do the right thing for, and represent the views of, his constituents and local communities.

“Looking ahead, my priority is to build on our commitment to reduce our impact on the environment and reduce our carbon emissions across the district and to help our communities and businesses to recover socially and economically from the impact of COVID, by doing what we can to protect and create jobs and provide homes for local people.

“I want to create a council that works across the political divisions and involves our communities and partners in shaping our future. I aim to introduce a more robust scrutiny system that challenges our thinking and our processes, and uses insight and evidence to drive our decision making.

“There’s never been a better time for us to embrace new technologies and new ways of working and make sure that we’re easier to reach, more responsive and better connected to our communities.

“Overriding all of this, for now, is COVID, the effect it’s having on all of us and what we’re doing. We’ll continue to work with our partners at Devon County Council, across the Devon districts, at regional and national level to ensure our communities are kept safe and our businesses supported to grow back and thrive.”

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