New deputy leader for Ashfield District Council

Coun Cheryl Butler has replaced Coun John Wilmott as deputy leader of Ashfield District Council.
Coun Cheryl Butler has replaced Coun John Wilmott as deputy leader of Ashfield District Council.

Ashfield District Council has a new deputy leader after the ruling Labour Party voted to replace Coun John Wilmott with Coun Cheryl Butler.

The change was officially announced at the council’s Annual General Meeting on Monday and came following a meeting of the Labour group the week before.

Council leader, Coun Chris Baron, said that every year the group elects a leader and a deputy leader and this time he was again returned as leader and Coun Butler was elected as his deputy.

Coun Baron paid tribute to the work that Coun Wilmott has done for the council in his time as deputy leader.

He said: “Coun Wilmott served as deputy for five years. His knowledge and experience about the operations of the authority were second to none.”

Coun Wilmott, a Hucknall North councillor, will continue to be a cabinet member for Ashfield District Council and retains his portfolio of ‘Partnerships and Community’.

He said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed the past five years as deputy leader in what has been an extremely challenging time for local government.

“As one door closes another opens and I am looking forward to my new challenge as portfolio holder for partnerships and community.”

As well as becoming the deputy leader of the council, Coun Butler, a Kirkby Central ward member, has taken on a portfolio that includes the environment, community safety and sustainability.

Said Coun Baron: “Coun Butler is a comparatively new elected member but I am sure she will help unite the Labour group and take forward policy implementation which will be to the benefit of all residents of Ashfield.

“She will have a focus on environmental issues and sustainability to ensure that the areas that we live in are kept in the very best condition.”

Coun Butler said: “I’m delighted to have been voted as the first female deputy leader of Ashfield District Council. It’s good to know that women will now have a voice at a senior level of the council.

“I’m very pleased to have been asked to concentrate on the environment and community protection portfolio.

“We all want to live in a clean and safe place. I will be meeting up with the service head and staff over the next few days to discuss my portfolio in full.

“Community Protection will be at the top of my list. I want to ensure we do everything possible to move forward in this area.”