New council leader outlines priorities and leadership team

Cllr David Bittleston, newly elected Leader of Woking Borough Council, gave a short speech outlining his priorities for the coming few years on May 22.

“Having lived in Woking for most of my life, I am honoured and delighted to be elected as Leader of the Council,” said Cllr Bittleston. “Elected councillors are proud to serve the borough and our aim is to put something back into the community which has given us so much.”

In future, the Council’s approach would be guided by four key priorities, he said. These were: decent and affordable housing; economic development; the environment; and health and wellbeing.

Meanwhile, Cllr Bittleston said he would personally oversee two of the Council’s most important projects — the exciting new town centre development known as Victoria Square and the planned regeneration of Sheerwater.

The Leader of the Council also took the opportunity to unveil his new Executive, comprised of:

  • Cllr Colin Kemp – Deputy Leader of the Council, Portfolio Holder for Housing, Portfolio Holder for Independent Living
  • Cllr Ayesha Azad – Portfolio Holder for Finance
  • Cllr Beryl Hunwicks – Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services, Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing
  • Cllr Mark Pengelly – Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Cultural Services
  • Cllr Ashley Bowes – Portfolio Holder for Planning
  • Cllr Saj Hussein – Portfolio Holder for Economic Development

Cllr Bittleston’s remarks came as he took over as Leader of the Council from Cllr John Kingsbury, who stepped down after an impressive nine years in the role.

Cllr Bittleston led a series of warm tributes to Cllr Kingsbury’s leadership and record of public service. “John’s hard work and dedication to Woking has been enormous,” he said.