Around Ealing Spring 2014 - Page 5

“We have got straight back down to work.” LEADER’S NOTES Councillor Julian Bell Leader of the council Julian and other candidates observe the election count I would like to thank everyone who went out to vote in the local and European elections at the end of May. Our borough had a strong percentage of voters turning out, and the Labour party was humbled by the trust shown in us. I held it as an enormous honour to be leader of the council throughout the past four years, and I am very pleased to be continuing in the role. We achieved so much as a council, despite the difficult prevailing economic conditions, and there is so much more we all want to do yet. I thank you for giving us the opportunity, and mandate, to carry these through over the next four years. Challenges, as ever, will lay in wait; difficult decisions will come our way; but exciting new times are also ahead of us and we have got straight back down to work. We promise to stay true to our manifesto, and to prioritise key commitments including: Making sure the borough receives the best health care possible; keeping council tax low; working closely with the police on combating crime and anti-social behaviour; making the borough cleaner, and recycling 50% of household waste by 2018; and to continue building new council homes and creating apprenticeships for young people. With such a strong majority this time around (53 of the 69 seats are occupied by Labour) we are mindful of maintaining the correct balance and level of examination. As a consequence, we will be extending the number of scrutiny panels at the council from five to six, to keep a closer eye on the decisions made and processes followed. One of these panels will have a Conservative chairman, and all of the other five panels will have a vice-chairman selected from among the Conservative or Liberal Democrat councillors. My cabinet team has been chosen, too, to help lead the agenda on specific issues and areas of the council’s work. You can see them on page 41, alongside the full list of 69 elected councillors. There were quite a large number of completely fresh candidates voted into seats this year and I would like to take this opportunity to welcome them. I look forward to working with them all to make our borough an even better place to be. around ealing Summer 2014 5