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New Leader Appointed at Hambleton Council

Mark Robson 150513

2:44pm 15th May 2013

The reins of Hambleton District Council changed hands yesterday when Sowerby councillor, Mark Robson was installed as the authority’s leader.

He takes over from Councillor Neville Huxtable who stood down after three years in the role for personal reasons.

“The last three years have been extremely challenging,” said Councillor Huxtable.

“It was a great honour to be elected as Leader. I inherited an authority in a good financial position – but I leave it in an even better position.    I have steered it through deep public expenditure cuts and a £1.6 million cut in funding – and yet we dealt with that and still made savings of £2.1 million.

We have not cut a single service or borrowed a single penny.”

He said that he was proud to have introduced a £200,000 scheme which currently has 30 formerly unemployed young people in apprenticeships and is helping local businesses employ them, so boosting the local economy.    Another £100k is going into a grant scheme for local communities; and public toilets, The World of James Herriot and the Northallerton Forum have all been handed over to the community.   He has also steered the council towards a reduction in numbers – plans to reduce councillors from 44 to 28 are currently before Parliament.

“Local people are now running their own facilities – true localism at work,” he added.

“I am proud to leave a modernised council with a business approach to providing top class services; an authority in a strong financial position and staff committed to succeed.”

And Councillor Robson said he was looking forward to taking on the new role.

“Neville has brought this Council through a difficult period,” he said.   “We will face some challenges as we move forward during times of financial uncertainty. But Neville leaves this Council in a strong financial position, and we need to maintain the level of services that we provide - at the minimum cost to the ratepayers of Hambleton.   I am looking forward to leading the authority.”

Councillor Robson will be joined by Councillors Peter Wilkinson, John Noone, Brian Phillips, and Shirley Shepherd on the authority’s Cabinet.

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