TWO political leaders in Gloucester have kept hold of their jobs after this year’s city council elections.
Councillor Paul James has been re-appointed as leader of the council’s Conservative group, while Kate Haigh has been voted back in as the Labour group leader.
Mr James said: “I am absolutely delighted to be re-elected as leader of my group with Jennie Dallimore staying on as my deputy.
“I am looking forward to carrying on delivering everything we have set out to do.”
Mr James said his party would push ahead with a series of ‘pledge a day’ announcements he made in the run up to election day on May 22, including planting 5,000 new trees, creating new play areas and improving the city’s CCTV coverage in a bid to reduce crime.
Joining Ms Haigh in the Labour leadership is outgoing Gloucester mayor Chris Chatterton, who will become her new deputy after Mark Hobbs stood down from the role at a meeting this week.
Ms Haigh had been under pressure after taking charge of a largely disappointing election campaign in the city – but she was re-appointed unopposed on May 27.
Mr Hobbs has instead taken up a role as chairman of the group to make way for Mr Chatterton, who will take up his post on June 9 when his mayoral year comes to an end. It will see Mr Chatterton, who has been apolitical for a year because of his civic duties, thrown back into the political sphere. His appointment was unanimously supported by colleagues.
Mr Chatterton will be succeeded as mayor by councillor Debbie Llewellyn (C, Quedgeley Fieldcourt).
Labour’s Ms Haigh said: “I am honoured to have the continued confidence of the Labour group. I would like to thank Mark for his support as my deputy and he will continue to play a major role in the group.
“Chris has had a busy year as mayor but I look forward to having him back as a strong voice for Labour in the council chamber.
“The next two years are going to be challenging and difficult with massive cuts, but we will stand up for people and our values of fairness and building a prosperous city that we all can share in.”
Councillor Jeremy Hilton is also expected to be returned as leader of the Liberal Democrat group.