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SLDC appoint new council leader

Giles Archibald
Giles Archibald

[C]ouncillor Giles Archibald has been confirmed as the new Leader of South Lakeland District Council (SLDC).

Councillor Archibald was appointed at tonight’s Annual Council Meeting, and takes over as Leader from Councillor Peter Thornton, who has stood down following the end of his term of office.

Councillor Archibald has represented the Kendal Fell ward on SLDC since 2012 and has served on the council’s Cabinet as portfolio holder for Economic Growth, Town Centres and Small Businesses. He has also been a Kendal Town Councillor since 2010.

He said: “My priority will be to continue to help the council’s members and officers to do their very best for the residents of South Lakeland and to make sure this is the best place to live, work and explore.

“I know all councillors have a strong commitment to public service and I will work with them to deliver on our priorities, which will continue to be on creating jobs and affordable homes.

“This council has a great track record of delivering on our pledges and our key themes will remain the economy, environment, housing, culture and wellbeing.’’

Councillor Archibald paid tribute to Councillor Thornton – who is continuing to serve on the council’s Cabinet – for all his work during his term in office, saying “I’d like to thank Peter for doing such an excellent job as Leader of the Council.’’

He also thanked officers and staff at SLDC for their work and welcomed the new-look Cabinet, which sees Staveley-in-Cartmel representative Councillor Sue Sanderson continue as Deputy Leader with portfolio responsibility for Council Organisation and People and one new member in Hawkshead Councillor David Fletcher, who takes over as portfolio holder for Environment.

Other Cabinet portfolio holders:

  • Councillor Graham Vincent – Portfolio holder for Economy
  • Councillor Jonathan Brook – Portfolio holder for Housing and Innovation
  • Councillor Chris Hogg – Portfolio holder for Culture and Wellbeing
  • Councillor Peter Thornton – Portfolio holder for Finance

A new Leader has also been selected for the opposition Conservative Group at SLDC.

Councillor Ben Berry, who has represented Windermere, Troutbeck and Applethwaite on the council since 2011, takes over as Leader from Windermere Bowness representative Councillor David Williams.

Councillor Berry said it was a “great honour’’ to be selected as Leader of the Conservative Group, adding: “I was born in Kendal and grew up in Windermere and I am incredibly proud to now serve the whole of this district.’’

Grange South Councillor Tom Harvey becomes Councillor Berry’s new Deputy Leader.

Other Shadow Cabinet portfolio holders:

  • Councillor Janette Jenkinson – Shadow Portfolio holder for Economy
  • Councillor John Holmes – Shadow Portfolio holder for Housing and Innovation
  • Councillor David Williams – Shadow Portfolio holder for Culture and Wellbeing
  • Councillor James Airey – Shadow Portfolio holder for Environment
  • Councillor Kevin Lancaster – Shadow Portfolio holder for Finance

Councillor Mark Wilson, who represents Ulverston East on SLDC, has been re-selected as Leader of the Labour Group.

At the Annual Meeting Councillor Sylvia Emmott was also re-elected as Chairman of the Council and Councillor Eric Morrell was elected as Vice-Chairman.

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