‘Hard act to follow’ as Joint Deputy Leaders announced at Annual Meeting

17 May 2022

Cllr Sarah Broughton, Cllr John Griffiths, Cllr Sara Mildmay-White and Cllr Jo Rayner

The work of West Suffolk Council Deputy Leader Sara Mildmay-White has been praised by Leader Cllr John Griffiths after announcing her decision to step down from the post.
Cllr Mildmay-White has been Deputy Leader at West Suffolk Council since it was created in 2019 and for the former St Edmundsbury Borough Council for 10 years. She remains Portfolio Holder for Housing and Health. 
Cllr Griffiths announced the role of Deputy Leader would be jointly shared by Cllr Sarah Broughton and Cllr Jo Rayner at the annual meeting of the authority tonight, Tuesday. 
Cllr Griffiths, said: “Cllr Mildmay-White’s wise counsel and insightfulness together with the care and commitment she has for our communities has made her an outstanding deputy leader, role model and a champion for all of West Suffolk. I want to thank her for being my deputy and completely support her reasons for stepping down from the role. Not only has she served as Deputy Leader but also Portfolio Holder for housing. A challenging role to do on its own, but one she continues to excel in. This has included reducing rough sleeping, helping prevent people becoming homeless and overseeing our successful Barley Homes company which is building and selling homes, creating affordable homes and income for the Council. I look forward to working with Cllrs Broughton and Rayner as joint deputies continue to deliver ground-breaking initiatives and high quality services to make West Suffolk even more healthy, prosperous and greener.”
Cllr Mildmay-White, said: “I really have enjoyed my time in the Deputy Leader role, working with Cllr Griffiths, my cabinet colleagues and members in the wider council. I feel as a Cabinet and Council we have delivered benefits that are making a real difference to people’s lives while overcoming a range of challenges. But, as I explained and agreed with the Leader, I feel it is time for me to step aside from the Deputy Leader role and give someone else the opportunity. Indeed, I hope people, especially young women, will see what is being achieved in our Council and be encouraged into Local Government. I want to thank John for his support as well as the leadership he has shown.  West Suffolk is a wonderful place to live in and I would encourage anyone wishing to do their bit, either in the community or by serving on the authority to step forward.”
Cllr Sarah Broughton, Portfolio Holder for Resources and Property and Joint Deputy Leader, said: “I would like to thank Sara for all she has done in this role and I know will continue to do for her communities. I am honoured to be asked to step into what are very big shoes to fill. Together West Suffolk Council will build on the great work we have already started to ensure we are in a better position to face the challenges and opportunities affecting all councils. This includes national financing for Local Government but also the cost of living and levelling up while driving economic prosperity and tackling climate change.”
Cllr Jo Rayner, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Community Hubs and Joint Deputy Leader, said: “I am honoured to be asked to take on this joint role with Cllr Broughton. I applaud what Cllr Mildmay-White has achieved; she is an extremely hard act to follow. Her and Cllr Griffiths’s leadership has been a strong and successful partnership which has helped forge new initiatives that are creating healthier and more prosperous communities and businesses. But they also have been instrumental in supporting new councillors and fresh voices, to represent our communities. I look forward to helping support this too as well as further improving the ways we engage with our communities that we serve.” 

The shared joint posts of Deputy Leader have been created at no extra cost to the Council.


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