After the election excitement councillors get down to business

Tomorrow night sees the first meeting of Hastings Borough Council since the elections were held at the beginning of the month.

It’s what’s known as the ‘annual’ meeting and among items on the agenda are the elections of the new Mayor and Deputy Mayor; current Mayor Judy Rogers and her deputy Nigel Sinden will be standing down after serving a two year term in office.

In addition the make up of the council’s cabinet and committees will be decided too.

The proposal is that the cabinet continues to be made up of eight members six from the controlling Labour group with two seats being filled by the Conservative group.

Each of the Labour cabinet members will have a special responsibility; they will be the ‘lead member’ dealing with specific areas of council business. Tomorrow night’s meeting is expected to approve:

  • Peter Chowney as Leader of the council and lead member for the finance and property portfolio.
  • Kim Forward as deputy leader of the council and lead member for regeneration, planning and culture.
  • Colin Fitzgerald as lead member for environment, community safety and equalities.
  • Judy Rogers as lead member for corporate services.
  • Andy Batsford as lead member for housing and leisure
  • Sue Beaney as charity committee chair.
The new Labour councillors elected on May 3 from left to right: Dany Louise ,Andrew Battley, Ruby Cox, Antonia Berelson, Heather Bishop, Paul Barnett, Maya Evans, Margi O’callaghan and Leah Levane.

Although on paper Labour won two seats additional at the elections and the Conservative group won one additional seat not much has really changed. The seat labour won in St Helens it won from the Conservatives and the seat the Conservatives won in West St Leonards it took from Labour. Labour won one additional seat in Castle which it took from ‘independent’.

It means there are eight Conservative members of HBC, the same as there were before and 24 Labour members – one more than before.

Labour can boast though that it effectively secured 50 per cent of the total vote on the day and it now has more eats on the council than ever before.

Boundary changes meant all 32 HBC council members were up for election this year but in two years time HBC will revert to its usual pattern of elections with one half of the council facing election every two years. That means one councillor in each ward will be up for election – there are 16 two-member wards. The one up for election in two years’ time will be the, member who polled the fewest votes in this month’s election.

And there is a great new family dimension to the new-look council. When Andrew Battley won in Ore he joined the council to sit alongside his mother, Castle ward’s Judy Rogers. It’s the first time there has been a mother and son together on the council.

Celebrating their victories mother and son councillors Andrew Battley and Judy Rogers.

For full election results click the link below…

Steady as she goes make-up of new council is much as it was before…


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