STAFFORDSHIRE County Council has appointed Alan White as its new leader during a meeting of the council today (July 23).
The Conservative councillor for Lichfield Rural East was first elected to the authority in 2009 and served as Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Health, Care and Wellbeing since 2017.
Philip White (no relation) has been appointed Deputy Leader with a new portfolio of Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills. The county council’s cabinet has also been reduced in size from 13 members to 10.
The changes follow this week’s announcement that Philip Atkins was standing down as leader after 11 years in charge of the county council.
Alan White, pictured, said: Philip [Atkins] will be a tough act to follow and I thank him for all he has done for us as a council and for the county of Staffordshire.
"We face some challenges ahead, the like of which we have never seen in our lifetime. Covid-19, Brexit and climate change to name but three.
"I am sure that through our energy, innovation and passion, the county council will play a leading role in finding the solutions to the challenges ahead.
"Through the coronavirus pandemic we have seen our communities, businesses and partners unite to protect the most vulnerable and halt the spread of infection.
"We must ensure that the connections we have forged through the crisis continue as we lead the recovery and beyond. We must stay connected with the people we serve, to look after those who depend on us and work together to bring better prospects and prosperity for all.”
Philip White added: "Reigniting and transforming Staffordshire’s economy and investing in skills and training will be central to the county’s recovery from Covid-19.
"We have all experienced a huge shock to our lives and livelihoods and the county council has stepped in to support businesses and individuals.
"Our role as a county council is to create the right conditions for our economy to grow, for businesses to invest and create more jobs for our people. We must also inspire and equip current and future generations to learn new skills and increase their potential throughout their lives.”