CHT de­fends lead­er­ship

The Wokingham Paper - - NEWS - By PHIL CREIGHTON news@wok­ing­ham­pa­

THE LEADER of the coun­cil made an im­pas­sioned speech de­fend­ing her lead­er­ship.

Cllr Char­lotte Haitham Tay­lor, who was cel­e­brat­ing her birth­day dur­ing the coun­cil meet­ing, said: “Lead­er­ship is about stand­ing by those dif­fi­cult things, be­ing on the side of what is just and fair, even when those who are bereft of courage will buckle at the first sign of dif­fi­culty.

“Pre­sid­ing in judg­ment over those who choose to stand up and be counted, when you will [not] stick your own neck out – that is not brav­ery. We would not de­serve to be lead­ers if I, or my Ex­ec­u­tive, or my Con­ser­va­tive group, were too afraid to do the right thing, even when it is the un­pop­u­lar thing to do.”

She added that Cllr Pauline Jor­gensen had been ap­pointed as deputy leader of the group fol­low­ing the res­ig­na­tion of Cllr Ju­lian McGhee-Sum­ner, who was ab­sent from the meet­ing. There was no an­nounce­ment as to who was go­ing to be the mem­ber for fi­nance, mean­ing the role has been va­cant for a fort­night.

“Un­der my lead­er­ship, we have had the courage to chal­lenge the Gov­ern­ment over the un­sus­tain­able hous­ing num­bers be­ing im­posed on us.

“We have faced down the Sec­re­tary of State over neg­a­tive Rev­enue Sup­port Grant – the penalty for our res­i­dents’ vot­ing for sound fi­nan­cial man­age­ment.

“We have kept up pres­sure on the min­is­ters over fund­ing for chil­dren’s and adult so­cial care.

“We have cho­sen to in­vest the largest sum of money ever into our com­mu­ni­ties over the next three years.

“We have pressed on with re­shap­ing the coun­cil into an or­gan­i­sa­tion fit for a dig­i­tal age.

“We set up an in­vest­ment strat­egy so peo­ple in Wok­ing­ham bor­ough should never have to face the sav­age cuts thrust on the peo­ple of Read­ing.

“!We have fought to keep the fun­da­men­tals that truly mat­ter to peo­ple, mak­ing some­times hard de­ci­sions on some of the other things we’ve got­ten used to coun­cils do­ing.

“And in our coun­cil plan, we’ve em­barked on the most am­bi­tious pro­gramme ever to re­de­fine the re­la­tion­ship between cit­i­zen and lo­cal gov­ern­ment, giv­ing a voice to com­mu­ni­ties in a way never done be­fore.

“We need to take our res­i­dents on a jour­ney to be­ing part of one com­mu­nity. Along the way, we must get on the with the job of build­ing sus­tain­able ser­vices of a chang­ing pop­u­la­tion and en­ter­ing into a new spirit of be­ing en­ter­pris­ing and en­tre­pre­neur­ial.

“The path may be strewn with ob­sta­cles and the des­ti­na­tion may not al­ways clearly be in sight.

“Whether it’s the town cen­tre re­gen­er­a­tion or our work to get in place a plan for sus­tain­able hous­ing for the fu­ture, some­times among the pain it can be hard to see the fruits of what we are striv­ing for.

“We may not get ev­ery­thing right along the way.

“We must seek to shake off the naysay­ers with a poverty of am­bi­tion as well as the false prophets, the siren voices who push us to­wards a ‘ new Eden’, straight over the edge into a pit.

“We must never be too timid to think big. If we will not dare to be bold, we need never fear fail­ure, nor ever know the tri­umph of suc­cess.

“I be­lieve that we have a vi­sion worth fight­ing for and, while I am leader of this coun­cil, I will con­tinue to do bat­tle ev­ery sin­gle day to de­liver it for the most im­por­tant peo­ple of all, the res­i­dents of Wok­ing­ham bor­ough.”

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