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Changes to Executive at West Berkshire Council

Cllr Louise Sturgess appointed to Executive

Posted by: Communications team on 31 January 2024 17:52
2024 - Cllr Louise Sturgess

Councillor Louise Sturgess has been appointed to the Executive with effect from Thursday 1 February.

Cllr Sturgess has been appointed the Executive Member for Economy and Regeneration, taking over from Councillor Martin Colston who is stepping down. Louise brings with her extensive experience from her background working with global corporations in the fields of change and communications.

Speaking about his decision, Cllr Martin Colston said:

"Being a portfolio holder is a big responsibility and as I am also a sole trader with my own business, it became clear to me towards the end of last year that I could not meet my Executive, ward, and business commitments, and this was causing ever increasing stress.

"I have suffered from mental health issues in the past and the warning signs were all there. So, I have taken the decision to step down from the Executive which will allow me more time to work as a ward councillor for my residents in Newbury Central.

"I would like to thank all my colleagues and officers for their support and understanding, and I wish my successor, Cllr Louise Sturgess, all the best in her new role."

Councillor Louise Sturgess, commenting on her new appointment, said:

"I wish Cllr Colston all the best for the future and appreciate all he has achieved so far. I look forward to continuing to work with Martin in his capacity as ward councillor. I feel privileged to take on the role of Executive Member for Economy and Regeneration.

"My commitment is to continue to promote growth, inclusivity, and sustainable development to make West Berkshire a place that thrives on collaboration and community empowerment."

Cllr Jeff Brooks, Acting Leader of West Berkshire Council, said:

"I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to Cllr Colston for a masterful job on the Council Strategy. His input has been vital and sets out our direction for the next four years. I fully admire and support his decision to step down and dedicate time to his business and mental health.

"We now welcome Cllr Sturgess to the Executive and are pleased to also announce Cllr Denise Gaines will take a lead role in supporting the Acting Leader of the Council."

"Cllr Gaines has a number of years' experience on the front bench whilst in opposition, including having been Opposition Deputy Leader, so is ideal to provide this support. She is dedicated to working closely with the rest of the Executive to move West Berkshire Council forward. This also strengthens the front bench with more women represented in politics - a step towards even greater inclusivity."

Last modified: 31 January 2024 18:11

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