Leigh Redman the elected member for Bridgwater South has been announced as the new leader of the Labour group at Somerset County Council. Andrew Govier has decided to stand down from the role, but stays on as the elected member for Wellington.
Andrew served as leader for many years but due to time commitments took the decision to stand down before this year’s county council annual meeting. Leigh said: “Andrew has been a great leader for many years taking the group through some interesting and troubled times, I want to thank him for his great work and his commitment to help me in my exciting role’”
Leigh takes the role in a period of massive cuts in the County budget. He has worked throughout the last year to scrutinise the Tory ruling group as part of the opposition, criticising the children’s centre change program and other cost-cutting proposals.
He said: “In these times of austerity we need to be looking at how to support our services not forcing cuts that effect our communities at every level. How is it fair to make those that need our help suffer? The changes that have been imposed on children services are concerning. I believe they will be putting too much pressure on a team that has seen their remit expanded, roles revised and major restructuring. We are about to start discussing the next phase of cuts with issues such as education support services hitting the spotlight. I do understand the need to control spending and balance the budget, but we need to be sure we are not making cuts for cuts’ sake and impacting those most at need or not able to defend themselves.”