Tony Mathias elected leader of Rutland County Council
Coun Tony Mathias has been elected as the new leader of Rutland County Council.
Coun Mathias, who is one of two ward members for Oakham South East, was elected by majority vote at a special council meeting on Thursday last week. He will serve as leader until the next round of normal elections in 2019.
Previous leader Terry King, who had served as leader for about a year, stepped down due to ill health.
Following the vote, Coun Mathias appointed Coun Oliver Hemsley as deputy leader and announced that Coun Alan Walters would be joining the cabinet as portfolio holder for community safety, culture, sport and recreation and environment.
Coun Mathias said: “I consider it a huge honour to be elected leader of Rutland County Council, having worked closely with both Roger Begy and Terry King throughout my time as a ward member and deputy leader.
“Rutland has always been my home so I know what a special place it is. Having held the position of portfolio holder for highways, environment, transport, community safety and market towns I also understand the issues that are important to local people.
“The council is clear about its plans and priorities over the next several years. Our county is growing and we need strike a careful balance so that we can provide the right levels of housing, employment, education and infrastructure while preserving Rutland’s unique character and that of our two market towns.”
He said the council would continue to explore new ways to help businesses grow and would continue to protect and care for vulnerable residents.
Coun Tony Mathias said: “We’re currently preparing a budget that makes best use of our resources, so that we can do all of this.
“We’re also very open about the financial challenges facing local councils and what this means for Rutland. Officers at the council work extremely hard to maintain the services we rely on every day and I’m looking forward to working closely with them in the coming months and years to improve and develop these services even further for the benefit of all our residents.”
Coun King’s Exton ward seat currently remains vacant.
He took over as leader last year, following the death of his friend and long-standing leader Roger Begy in February 2016.