To elect a Leader of the Council and to note the appointment of the Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Members.
36.1 Councillor James (Leader of the Council) nominated Councillor Cook. He described Councillor Cook as having a passion for the environment and stated that he was sure this theme would run through Councillor Cook’s leadership should he be elected.
36.2 Councillor Watkins seconded the nomination. She advised Members that in her opinion Councillor Cook was a passionate, caring and hardworking ambassador for the city.
36.3 RESOLVED that Councillor Richard Cook be elected Leader of the Council.
36.4 Councillor Tracey paid tribute to the previous Leader of the Council Councillor James. She highlighted some of his achievements as Leader and Councillor since 1996 including the regeneration of the Quays, new Transport Hub and dealing with the aftermath of the 2007 floods. Councillor Tracey further commented on his personal qualities such as a willingness to go out of his way to help anyone regardless of their political background.
36.5 Councillor Hilton congratulated Councillor Cook on his election and looked forward to working with him in the same friendly vein shown by Councillor James.
36.6 Councillor Stephens wished Councillor Cook success as Leader of the Council. On behalf of the Labour Group he recognised Councillor James’s dedication and hard work that had driven forward the regeneration of the city.
36.7 Councillor James thanked all current and former Members, officers and residents but most of all his family for their support over the years. He recalled some of the achievements under his leadership that he was particularly proud of including the Joint Core Strategy, transfer of housing stock to Gloucester City Homes, cultural renaissance in the city, introduction of an Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) approach to Council working and many others which he reminded Members had been undertaken against reducing budgets.
36.8 Councillor Cook (Leader of the Council) announced that Councillor H Norman had accepted the invitation to be Deputy Leader of the Council and that the composition of Cabinet would remain unchanged.
36.9 Councillor D Norman gave a vote of thanks to the previous Deputy Leader of the Council Councillor Watkins. He recounted examples of her passion and commitment to residents over the preceding ten years that had given the city Purple Flag status, the Nightsafe Partnership and free public WiFi among many other things.
36.10 Councillor Watkins thanked everyone she had worked with, particularly the communities and people of Gloucester, and commented that cooperating in partnership had been the most important component of her achievements.