Leader showcases new-look cabinet to drive council priorities

The leader of Dudley Council has unveiled his new-look cabinet team as he outlined the authority’s priorities including regeneration, supporting businesses and boosting tourism.

Councillor Patrick Harley formally welcomed his 10-strong decision-making cabinet at a meeting last week. 

He set a clear path for the authority to continue the £1 billion regeneration masterplan for Dudley as well as supporting businesses after a tough year battling the pandemic. He said The new Dudley Leisure Centre, Very Light rail and Metro were key to the borough’s recovery.

The leader also outlined plans to encourage people to “spend locally” to support town centres as part of the Dudley Deal initiative.

Councillor Harley said support for tourism was also crucial after being severely impacted by closures during the national restrictions and vowed the council would do all it could to help them re-open safely.

Roads have also been highlighted as a key priority following more than £1 million extra investment to tackle potholes in residential streets earlier this year.

Councillor David Vickers remains as deputy leader of the council, while Councillor Shaun Keasey takes on the cabinet role for digital, customer and commercial services.

Councillor Simon Phipps is the new cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise while Councillor Ian Kettle moves to cabinet member for West Midlands Combined Authority. Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the council, said:

"We have a very strong cabinet full of experience as well as some new faces. We will continue to invest in public services and build on the positive work we have been doing in recent years – particularly the ongoing £1 billion investment in regenerating Dudley.

"Work is well underway at the new Dudley leisure centre and we are on the verge of welcoming Midland Metro to the borough as well as making Dudley the global focus of rail innovation with the Very Light Rail system at Castle Hill. These projects are just some of the massive investments that are attracting national attention – this is Dudley’s time to showcase just how good we are.

"There is a lot of work still to be done, particularly around the coronavirus pandemic as we look to mirror the government’s roadmap and ensure we continue safely and carefully as we can.

"There will also be continued support for local businesses as they emerge from a really tough year. We will be building on our Dudley Deal initiative to encourage people to spend their money locally to give that vital boost to our town centres and businesses.

"It is vital we all work together to rebuild and I am confident the cabinet are the right set of people to do that."

At the same meeting, the shadow cabinet was also confirmed along with chairs of committees. A full list of committees can be found at dudley.gov.uk.


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