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Chris Seaton elected as new Council Leader

Councillor Chris Seaton has been elected as the new Leader of Fenland District Council.

Chris Seaton

Cllr Seaton, who is Leader of the Conservative Group and Ward member for Roman Bank, Wisbech, was elected at a Special Council meeting today (February 22), replacing Cllr John Clark in the role.

Following the vote, Cllr Seaton appointed his Cabinet, who will work alongside him until the next election in May, 2019:

Cllr Mike Cornwell - Portfolio Holder for Communities

Cllr Peter Murphy - Portfolio Holder for Environment

Cllr David Oliver - Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Heritage

Cllr David Mason - Portfolio Holder for Growth

Cllr Anne Hay - Portfolio Holder for Finance

Cllr Dee Laws - Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhood Planning

Cllr Mark Buckton - Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Young People

In a speech to Members, the new Leader said: "I'd like to thank all the Councillors for their support; it is a great honour to accept this position as Leader of Fenland District Council for the remainder of this term of office. I look forward to working with all Members to the benefit of the residents of Fenland over the coming months."

Cllr Seaton also thanked Cllr Clark for his "excellent leadership, integrity and commitment" to the Council, and for his work with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, which has helped keep Fenland at the "top of the agenda".

He also extended his thanks to outgoing Cabinet members, Cllr Will Sutton, Cllr Michelle Tanfield and Cllr Ralph Butcher, for their "exceptional work" in their former Portfolio Holder areas, and Cllr Fred Yeulett, who has been replaced by Cllr Chris Boden as chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, for the "extensive commitment" he has given to the role.

Reflecting on his time as Leader, Cllr Clark told Members: "It was a privilege to have been elected as Leader and to have led Fenland District Council for almost four years. I am proud of the strategic leadership provided by members which has enabled our staff to deliver quality services throughout Fenland."

He said when he was elected in May 2014, the Government's austerity measures were well underway and Fenland District Council was one of the "worst hit councils in the country". But he said members have worked together to make the difficult decisions necessary to reach savings targets, and the Council now finds itself in a much better financial position.

He also said he has been delighted with how Fenland has benefitted from the formation of the Combined Authority, and has "no doubt that the Member decision to agree to the devolution deal will continue to pay dividends."

Cllr Clark, who is now Chairman of the Corporate Governance Committee, added: "I would like to convey my very best wishes to Cllr Seaton as he becomes Leader of the Council and his chosen support team."

Article added: February 22, 2018