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New Council administration appointed

A Joint Administration has been appointed to lead Rochford District Council after being voted in at Full Council yesterday evening (Tuesday 23rd May).

After the local elections earlier this month, the Council remained in 'no overall control'.

However, four political groups; Independent and Green, Liberal Democrats, Rochford District Independents and Rochford District Residents, have formed a Joint Administration which will now lead the District.

Cllr John Mason has been appointed to be the new Leader of the Council.

Cllr Michael Hoy and Cllr James Newport will serve as joint Deputy Leaders.

An Executive of Lead Members will be made up of Cllr Lisa Newport, Cllr Chris Stanley, Cllr Julie Gooding, Cllr Vilma Wilson, Cllr Adrian Eves, Cllr Arthur Williams and Cllr Jim Cripps.

Councillors agreed to change the way the Council makes decisions. Rochford’s current leader-and-executive led structure, where decisions are taken by an appointed councillor or the executive team, is to be replaced with a committee system from May 2024. 

The Council will keep to the current structure until the official implementation of the committee system and the Lead Members will be appointed to their areas of responsibility shortly.

The Groups in the Joint Administration have agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding which states:

“The groups will work together in the spirit of trust, fairness and mutual co-operation for the benefit of the residents of Rochford. This includes a commitment to acting in good faith, to maintaining constructive dialogue, to being open to alternative views, and to being inclusive in sharing information with each other.”

A statement from the new administration said:

"We are privileged to have this opportunity to serve the Council and residents in this role. We have the opportunity to work across partisan boundaries and forge a new path of governance for our district. We look forward to working with the Chief Executive and officers within the Council, to deliver on our promises to our residents.

“We wish to thank Cllr Simon Wootton for his service as Leader to the Council and Rochford District.”

The leader of the Independent and Green group is Cllr Michael Hoy; Cllr James Newport is the leader of the Liberal Democrats; Cllr Julie Gooding is leader of Rochford District Independents and Cllr Christine Mason is leader of Rochford District Residents.