Ray Dawe remains council leader and appoints new cabinet members

  • Tory Ray Dawe re-elected as leader of Horsham District Council
  • Appoints four of his new cabinet but has not named a deputy leader
  • Councillors call him ‘the right man to lead us’

Conservative Ray Dawe was re-elected as leader of Horsham District Council last night.

He took over from Robert Nye in late 2011 and became permanent leader in early 2012.

Although he has not named a new deputy, Mr Dawe appointed the following people to his new cabinet:

- Claire Vickers (Con, Southwater), cabinet member for planning and development,

- Brian Donnelly (Con, Pulborough and Coldwaltham), cabinet member for finance and assets,

- Andrew Baldwin (Con, Holbrook East), cabinet member for waste, recycling and cleaning,

- Jonathan Chowen (Con, Cowfold, Shermanbury and West Grinstead), cabinet member for leisure and culture.

Mr Dawe said: “Other positions will be filled at a later date.”

Proposing him for leader Mrs Vickers said: “He has taken us through some very difficult times and situations and there are a lot of challenges ahead for this council.”

John Chidlow (Con, Southwater) seconded this proposal and added: “I agree entirely with what has been said, he has led us very well through some turbulent times and I think he’s the right man to lead us.”

After his re-election as leader Mr Dawe said: “I’m absolutely delighted with the result of the elections both locally and nationally but I also understand that politics is also very cruel so I would like to start by thanking those who served on this council but were unsuccessful.”

He said ‘life was not going to get easier’ with a planning inspector deciding what housing numbers they had to set for the district, despite the introduction of localism.

They were also having to deal with cuts to grants from central government, and Mr Dawe believed that councils would suffer further reductions to their funding.

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