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New Council Leader Announced

Published Friday 19 May, 2023
Last updated on Thursday 22 February, 2024

Cllr Tim Gibson has been elected as leader of Swale Borough Council.

The new leader was elected at the Annual Council meeting on Wednesday, following local elections on 4 May.

Cllr Gibson said:

“I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to lead the council and I will work tirelessly to justify the faith that has been placed in me.

“I won’t always get things right of course, but then none of us will. However, I will not be reticent or hesitant in acknowledging if I do get it wrong.

“Effective debate is essential in ensuring the most inclusive outcomes, but partisan politics can get in the way of achieving what our communities want at a local level. I hope to facilitate that, by keeping the petty politics out of this council, so that we may spend more time focusing on the needs of residents who elected us and delivering services that we can be proud of.

“As I look back and reflect on the many positive things that we have delivered in the past four your years I am indebted to those leaders that have gone before me.

“There is undoubtedly still very much to do, and we face unprecedented challenges as we strive to deliver.

“Under my leadership, we will remain committed to working positively with all parties as we strive to achieve our vision and ambitions

“We will remain committed to leading an open and transparent council, in times when our residents need us more than they have for generations.

“Throughout the borough, residents are suffering, physically, mentally and financially. Our economy is barely off life-support, and we face the starkest reality that so many of our residents are sadly, just not going to be able to manage.

“We must find ways to support, inspire and encourage every resident and business that needs our help, and we are determined to create an environment and the opportunities in which this can happen.

“Affordable housing and homelessness will continue to be a priority as will the excellent progress that we have made on environmental issues which has put this council at the forefront nationally.

“We will also continue in our quest to tackle health inequalities particularly in terms of GP provision.

“We must strive for educational opportunities for our youngsters, in a system that is fit for purpose and allows them to have, and realise, their ambitions and dreams.

“We must also not forget our businesses that are currently struggling, especially our high streets and local centres and how we might create opportunities to help to support them in challenging financial times for all.

“There is much, that is very special and unique about Swale, not least of which its countryside, its heritage, its coastline and the diversity of its people.

“There are significant challenges ahead, and in order to deliver on them, I have selected Cllr Mike Baldock as deputy leader. This will allow us to continue the strong working relationship that the administration has developed over the past four years in an environment where we are both committed to delivering on our shared priorities.”

The agenda for the Annual Council meeting is available on the council’s website.

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