New Council Leader elected
At the Annual Meeting of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council on Wednesday 25 May 2022 Councillor Ben Chapelard was elected as Leader.
Cllr Chapelard is the ward member for St James' and Liberal Democrats Council Group Leader.
Having accepted the Leadership Cllr Chapelard announced his administration will be called the borough partnership. The partnership is made up of Liberal Democrats, Tunbridge Wells Alliance (TWA) and Labour councillors, and the independent councillor for Paddock Wood (East).
Cllr Chapelard said: ‘We have come together to form this administration with one single and only objective: doing the best for our residents and our borough.’
Focus on Five
The new administration has five key priorities, their Focus on Five:
- Safeguarding finances
- Vibrant and safer town and villages
- Carbon reduction
- Genuinely affordable housing and social rental housing
- Digital access, transparency and local democracy
To deliver on the administration’s Focus on Five the following members will serve in the Council’s Cabinet:
Cllr Wendy Fitzsimmons (LD), Leisure, wellbeing and culture
Cllr Andy Hickey (LD), Finance and performance
Cllr Justine Rutland (LD), Tunbridge Wells town and local areas
Cllr David Hayward (TWA), Governance and transparency
Cllr Nancy Warne (TWA), Rural communities and deputy leader
Cllr Hugo Pound (Lab), Housing and planning
Cllr Luke Everitt (Lab), Environment, sustainability and carbon reduction Champions
In addition to Cabinet members there are four champions to help deliver the Focus on Five:
Cllr Peter Lidstone (LD), Walking and cycling champion
Cllr Mark Ellis (LD), Town market champion
Cllr Matthew Sankey (TWA), Local business champion
Cllr Alex Britcher-Allan (Lab), Charities and voluntary sector champion
Following the local elections on 5 May the Liberal Democrats held 16 of the 48 seats making them the largest Group in the Council.