German named new Council leader

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Independent group Councillor Julian German has been elected as the new leader of Cornwall Council.

Councillor German, who has been deputy leader since 2017, was voted in by members in a secret ballot, after Conservative group leader Councillor Linda Taylor was also nominated for the role.

After paying tribute to outgoing cabinet member Councillor Sue James, the new leader confirmed his predecessor, Liberal Democrat Councillor Adam Paynter, will now become deputy leader.

The other cabinet members and their portfolios were also announced:

  • Customers – Councillor Mike Eathorne-Gibbons
  • Children, Wellbeing and Public Health – Councillor Sally Hawken
  • Adults – Councillor Rob Rotchell
  • Climate Change and Neighbourhoods – Councillor Edwina Hannaford
  • Environment and Public Protection – Councillor Rob Nolan
  • Culture, Economy and Planning – Councillor Bob Egerton
  • Homes – Councillor Andrew Mitchell
  • Transport – Councillor Geoff Brown

Councillor Hilary Frank was elected as the new chairman of the council, having performed the role of deputy chairman for the past two years.

She told councillors she will work to create an atmosphere to allow meaningful debate in the chamber and promised to perform the role in a ‘scrupulously fair’ manner.

Former chairman Mary May was elected as vice chairman.

Addressing members in his first speech as leader, Councillor German told the chamber that the good work of the past two years had provided solid foundations to build on.

He said: “We cannot be complacent. We will continue to face considerable social, environmental and economic challenges in the coming years, but, as we have already shown, if we approach them head-on, with confidence and ambition, living our values and delivering our aims and priorities, with our residents at the forefront of our thinking at all times, we will succeed in building a Council, and a Cornwall, that one and all, can be proud of.”

Chief executive Kate Kennally also spoke to members about the Council’s work over the past year. She said:  “I am the first to accept that there is still much to be done but with the foundations in place and with the continued support of members, I am confident of greater success so we make a difference to the quality of life for ‘One and All’ – the people we are here to serve.”