Bedford council's new portfolio holders revealed - and they're all Conservatives

Bedford's new mayor, Tom Wootton has announced his first Executive Committee
Mayor Tom Wootton and the ExecutiveMayor Tom Wootton and the Executive
Mayor Tom Wootton and the Executive

Bedford’s new mayor, Tom Wootton has announced his first Executive Committee – and it only contains Conservative councillors.

The previous administration contained LibDem, Labour and Independent councillors.

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The new Executive was formalised via a report presented at yesterday’s Bedford Borough Council Annual Council Meeting (May 17).

The report was taken as read and no comments were made.

The Executive has overall responsibility for most council services, preparing the draft budget, as well as major policies and strategies for consideration and approval by Full Council.

The ten members (the mayor and nine councillors) are also responsible for implementing those policies and spending the budget, ensuring the policy framework and the council’s Financial Procedure Rules are followed.

Executive members are known as portfolio holders, and each has responsibility for specific services.

The new Executive members are:

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Mayor Tom Wootton – Community Mobilisation, Economic Development, Local Economy, Rural Affairs and Partnerships

Councillor Graeme Coombes (Wixams & Wilstead) – Finance

Councillor Sarah Gallagher (Shortstown) – Leisure and Culture

Councillor Phillippa Martin-Moran-Bryant (Great Barford) – Community Safety and Housing

Councillor Robert Rigby (Bromham) – Adult Services

Councillor Andrea Spice (Wixams & Wilstead) – Town Centres and Planning

Councillor Martin Towler (Riseley) – Public Health

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Councillor Jane Walker (Clapham & Oakley) – Family, Education and Children’s Services

Councillor James Weir (Great Denham) – Environment and deputy mayor

Portfolio holders have the power to take decisions about their portfolio’s services, but they must keep within the established policy and budget.

They are also required to follow the mayor’s approved protocol for decision-making.

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All Executive decisions are subject to a “call in” procedure, this is where a decision is scrutinised by the relevant Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Mayor, Tom Wootton, said: “Bedford Borough’s best days are ahead and this is the team which will make that a reality.”

You can find more information on the council’s senior staff, including the chief executive and mayor, as well as local councillors at the council's website.

The Labour and Liberal Democrat groups have announced that they have agreed a “united approach” to scrutinise the political management and performance of the new council.