All 48 councillors attended the meeting which adhered to current COVID-19 guidance and was shorter than usual with only essential business conducted.
The make-up of the council following the election which took place on Thursday 6th May 2021 is now 25 seats for the Conservative Party and 23 seats for the Labour Party. This means the Conservatives now have overall control of the council.
The new Leader of the Council is Councillor Dan Fitzhenry.
Today he appointed a new Cabinet which is as follows:
- Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Growth – Councillor Jeremy Moulton
- Cabinet Member for Finance – Councillor John Hannides
- Cabinet Member for Environment – Councillor Steve Galton
- Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care – Councillor Peter Baillie
- Cabinet Member for Education – Councillor James Baillie
- Cabinet Member for Health & Adult Social Care – Councillor Ivan White
- Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture & Heritage – Councillor Spiros Vassiliou
- Cabinet Member for Customer Service & Transformation – Councillor Rob Harwood
Councillor Fitzhenry commented to outline his priorities and the priorities of the new administration:
“It is an incredible honour and privilege to be elected as your Leader of the Council for the city. Thank you to everyone who supported us and to whose didn’t, we will work with you too for the benefit of the city."
“We as a Conservative Administration will be focused on delivering immediately on our election promises to Get Southampton Moving - removing the temporary Bitterne Bus Lane, consulting with businesses on re-opening Bedford Place and scrapping evening parking charges in the city centre to help our restaurants, theatres and shops recover from the pandemic. We will also be bringing forward plans for 1,000 new parking spaces on our estates, tidying up our parks and clearing up the litter and fly-tipping."
“Our administration will be focused on delivering for you, freezing council tax in our first year and promoting our city’s heritage so we can be proud of our home city again. We live in a great city, we have so much potential and I am so grateful for the opportunity to deliver for our city. We look forward to bringing a positive can do attitude to get things done and Get Southampton Moving again.”
Election of the Mayor and Sheriff
We also welcomed the 799th Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Southampton for 2021-2022 as Councillor Alex Houghton. The Mayor's chosen charities are The Scratch Project and Wave 105 Cash for Kids.
Councillor Jacqui Rayment was also welcomed as the 584th Sheriff of Southampton.
The ceremonial aspects including the awarding of citizen and business awards will be deferred to the July Full Council meeting which is likely to take place in the Guildhall. In place of the full Mayor-making ceremony we have created a short video which introduces the new Mayor and explains how the ceremonial role works at promoting the city.
You can watch that on YouTube.