Date Published: 06 February 2018
Councillor Oliver Hemsley has been elected as the new Leader of Rutland County Council.
Cllr Hemsley, who is Ward Member for Langham, was elected by majority vote at a Special Council Meeting on Monday 5th February. He will serve as Leader until the next round of normal elections in 2019.
Following the vote, Cllr Hemsley appointed Cllr Nick Begy as Deputy Leader and announced that Cllr Begy will be joining the Cabinet as Portfolio Holder for Planning Policy and Planning Operations, Highways and Transportation, Communications.
“I feel very proud and hugely privileged to take on the job of Council Leader. As someone who has lived and worked in Rutland all my life I know just what a special place this is.I stood for Leadership for precisely the same reason that I first became a Councillor and Ward Member – because I care deeply about the County that we are lucky enough to call home. Having served as Deputy Leader for the past year I know full well what will be demanded of me going forward. Fortunately, I’ve been a grafter all my life, having worked in the maintenance industry for more than 35 years, and will bring that same sense of passion and energy to my new role. I will continue to be a grafter who will commit everything I have to what is now the most important job of all. As Leader of the Council I want to protect, preserve and enhance what we have in Rutland. Quality of life here is the envy of most other places in the UK. We have great schools that parents can access, good public services, a strong local economy, low crime and unemployment and a great sense of community spirit, with people who look out for each other. To protect and preserve all of this Rutland must continue to grow by welcoming new people and investing in our infrastructure.”
Council Leader Oliver Hemsley
Councillor Hemsley is a small businessman in Rutland and married with four children. In his spare time he helps run Vale Judo Club and is a Brown Belt. He was elected as Ward Member for Langham in 2015 and has served as the Council’s Portfolio Holder for Growth, Trading Services and Resources for the past year.
“There are some important issues we need to tackle in the coming years. How do we make sure that our children can afford to live in Rutland in the future and enjoy the same opportunities that we had at their age? How do we help businesses in our town centres, not just to survive but to thrive in an era where technology threatens to replace the high street? How do we ensure that people who are more vulnerable get the right support and care they need at a time when demand for these services is increasing? To address these issues head-on and preserve all that is great about Rutland I want us to work together with our communities to find the best approach and to begin to tackle some of those big challenges. The Council cannot do it alone and nor should we. To succeed we have to work as a team. That also means from, the Council’s point of view, getting better and listening and learning. It means being more open and transparent about our work and connecting better with the communities that we serve. For my part, I will be a very approachable council leader. My ears will always be open, as will my door. It is a huge honour to be chosen as Council Leader. The hard work starts now and I look forward to working together with Councillors, Officers and the community to do the very best we can for Rutland.”
Council Leader Oliver Hemsley