Car parks to stay free but challenging times ahead

Wealden District Council cabinet members SUS-150406-143328001
Wealden District Council cabinet members SUS-150406-143328001

Challenging times are ahead as Wealden District Council needs to save or find income of £1.5m, said the reappointed leader Cllr Bob Standley.

But he pledged car parks would remain free in Wealden District and would not be used to generate income for the council.

The council also announced its cabinet members, chairman and vice chairman, following the elections held in May which saw the Conservative Group retain control.

Cllr Standley said, “The election has given Wealden Conservatives a clear mandate to continue the policies of the last council and deliver the exciting projects set out in our 2015-19 Corporate Plan.

“These are still financially challenging times and we will need to make savings or find income of around £1.5m over the next three years.

“Let me seek to clarify: When I talk of generating income, that won’t mean car parking charges. We are committed to maintaining our car parks as free at the point of delivery.”

Cllr Standley said the council would continue to encourage economic growth, protect the countryside and increase the amount we recycle.

He also said the council would keep Wealden high streets vibrant and deliver the Local Plan.

Wealden District Council’s new cabinet is: Bob Standley, leader, governance and finance: Claire Dowling, deputy leader, public health and community safety: Roy Galley, economic development and waste management: Ann Newton, planning and development; Nick Collinson, community leadership and human resources and Graham Wells; housing and benefits.

Cllr Barby Dashwood-Morris is the new chairman of the district council and takes over from Cllr Dr Brian Redman.

She was appointed at a full council meeting on held on Wednesday May 27 at the Civic Community Hall in Hailsham.

Cllr Dashwood-Morris said, “I would like to use my time as chairman to raise the profile of the council.

“I am immensely proud of what we do here. There are many successes which we are involved in, both as a council and as individual councillors.

“I will be looking for many more opportunities to promote Wealden in the future.”

The chairman said this year she wanted to highlight the council’s hazard training for primary schools Safety in Action, local farmers’ markets and the economic regeneration of the district.

The chairman’s charities will be the Friends of Crowborough War Memorial Hospital and Friends of Uckfield Community Hospital.

Cllr Chris Hardy was appointed vice chairman at the meeting. Outgoing chairman, Cllr Brian Redman, and his wife, Deveda, were thanked by the new chairman. During his time in office,Ccllr Redman raised £544 for his chairman’s charity, Abbeyfield South Downs, which provides care for the elderly.

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