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  • The Rother Alliance

Success at inaugural meeting of Council

On Wednesday 24th May, Rother District Council held its first Annual General Meeting of the 2023-27 term which saw leader of the Rother Alliance, Councillor Doug Oliver re-appointed as Leader of the Council following an impressive election result that saw success for the political groups that make up the coalition administration.

The meeting began with an emotional farewell to the outgoing Chair of Council, Kathy Harmer, and the unopposed selection of Councillors Cook and Thomas to assume the roles of chair and vice chair respectively. The meeting also saw tributes paid to Chief Executive Malcolm Johnston and his valued assistant, Jane McCullough, both of whom are due to retire from the Council with an impressive 55 years combined service.

As well as Cllr Oliver’s appointment as Chair, the meeting also saw Councillors Bayliss and Prochak appointed as Deputy Leaders of the Council.

Following the confirmation of the recent election results and the unopposed appointments of Alliance members to various Cabinet Portfolios, the usual business of the Council began, with items being called in from the previous meeting of Cabinet during the last Term of Office.

First to be called in was a recommendation from the Anti-Poverty Task and Finish Group to adopt the Socio-Economic Duty, a section of the equalities act that once enacted will ensure those in socio-economic disadvantage are considered when making policy. Next, the ‘changing places’ scheme which improves the accessibility of public toilets in the District and the Electric Vehicles Charging Scheme which looks to install charging points in Rother Car Parks. All three call ins were highlighted by members as examples of the good work undertaken by the Rother Alliance in the previous term of office.

Immediately following the end of the Annual General Meeting of Council, each of the Council’s committees held a short session in turn to elect chairs and vice chairs for the coming year with all but one uncontested. The contested position, vice chair of Licensing and General Purposes saw Alliance Councillor and member of the Rother Association of Independent Councillors, Councillor Stanger voted in and the Conservative nominee, Cllr Hacking, pipped to the post in her absence.

Overall, the meeting was incredibly positive and there was a palpable sense of hope for what the next four years might bring.


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