Labour’s new City Leader Cllr Peter Marland this week announced his team to lead the borough in a new direction.

In the local elections last month Labour gained the most seats, falling just short of a majority on Milton Keynes Council with 25 councillors, the best result for Labour in local elections since the 1990s.

That means they will take over the leadership of Milton Keynes Council, for the first time since 2002, from the Conservatives as a minority administration.

Now new Council Leader Peter Marland, has announced his top team, and it is one of the youngest in the country including a number of new faces, as well as experienced old hands.

Cllr Marland, 33, who lives in New Bradwell with his wife Ellie and dog Stanley, was until recently a Finance Manager for a multi-national company and has previously worked in the media and government sectors. He is originally from Lancashire and his interests include sport, comedy and history.

Cllr Hannah O’Neill, 32, will be Deputy Leader of the Council and responsible for Housing, Regeneration and Community Safety. Hannah has been a councillor for Woughton for 6 years.

Cllr Robert Middleton, 30, will hold the vital Finance portfolio. Rob, a trained solicitor, will also work on the Economic Development brief.

He is joined by new Central Milton Keynes Cllr Sarah Betteley, 28, a rising star only elected in May, who will be responsible for improving customer service and leading on expanding the cultural and tourist offer of the City. Sarah works in MK for a charity.

Bletchley Cllr Mick Legg will be responsible for Public Realm, which includes waste, highways and planning, while experienced councillors Nigel Long will hold the Adult Health and Transport portfolio and Cllr Norman Miles will be in charge of the Children, Education and Schools brief.

Cllr Marland said, “It is a huge honour to be given the opportunity to lead the great City of Milton Keynes.

“We have set out a clear agenda of building a City of work and opportunity, tackling the squeeze on household budgets, taking action on the housing crisis and delivering improvements in the services our citizens use.

“I believe that I have an incredibly strong team to ensure that the change people want and expect will be delivered. We have a good mix of fresh faces and experience. I’ve appointed a number of young energetic councillors who are committed to challenging the status quo and bringing a new approach to how a council should work for our citizens today not just accepting that it is how it has always worked in the past, and experienced councillors with the expertise needed to deliver specific high quality services.

“The next few years are not going to be easy as Milton Keynes Council faces unprecedented budget cuts, but we have a positive ambitious agenda based on making Milton Keynes a more prosperous, equal City that is a great place to live, work and visit.”

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