I am delighted to hand the baton of ‘Deputy Leader’ to Gemma Monaco at Redditch Borough Council, as reported by the Redditch Standard and Redditch Advertiser.

There were a number of reasons and I can elaborate more on them in this space.

  1. With both Matt Dormer and I being elected to Worcestershire County Council recently, as well as being on Redditch Borough Council, we felt there was an element of ‘what if’ when it comes to diary management and managing meetings. What if both Leader and Deputy Leader of the Borough are at a meeting of the County Council at the same day and a decision is needed at the Borough? I know other groups and leaders/deputies manage this and haven’t had any problems, but for me personally it just didn’t sit too well.
  2. As above, we’ve both got new roles, and so it makes sense to share the workload where possible to enable other people to come forward and contribute in different ways.
  3. As we are a larger group the focus shifts on to ‘man management’ of the group and ensuring cohesion and collaboration within the group. My leadership style is one of a ‘battlefield general’ and that’s not what this situation now calls for. Having won ‘the war’ it’s time to handover to someone who is more cut out for winning ‘the peace’.
  4. Gemma is a very talented Councillor and her contributions have been exemplary. She was a very adept Chair of Planning and will be a very good Deputy Leader. Gemma is a great example of someone who will uphold the office of Deputy Leader to a very high standard. I support her 110%.

Finally, it’s not about this, but it’s important to note that following the elections we now have more women on Redditch Borough Council and therefore it is only right and proper that we also have more women representation on the Executive Committee too. Gemma will take a place on that Committee as Deputy Leader.

I will remain on the Executive Committee as the Portfolio Holder for Leisure.