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MELKSHAM Town Council has elected its first ever leader – cllr Vanessa Fiorelli.
In her role as leader – which is voluntary, with no executive powers – cllr Fiorelli will be responsible for overseeing the strategic plan for the council. The role of mayor, which currently belongs to cllr Jon Hubbard, will remain and continue as a ceremonial position.
Speaking to Melksham News, cllr Fiorelli said, “I am honoured to have been nominated and then elected as leader. It’s not going to be a glorious job – it’s going to be a lot of hard work, involving a lot of support for the administrative team at the council, supporting them with the strategic direction of the council.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge and implementing some really good practices, so that more than anything else, we get the best value for the taxpayers out there.”
Explaining the reasons behind the introduction of the new leader role, cllr Fiorelli said, “The new leadership model for the council has been a long time coming, we have been working on it for quite some time.
“The role of mayor should purely be ceremonial. But as we’ve gotten bigger as a council – with an expanding population and more services falling to the town council – the role of mayor has become increasing more about supporting the administrative side of things, rather than being available to attend civic functions and representing the town.
“With the new leader role now in place, the focus for the role of mayor can return to what it was originally meant to be.
“Put simply, the mayor will deal with the front of house stuff and the leader will deal with the back of house stuff – helping the town hall staff manage the implementation of the policies approved by councillors, and ensuring the council is running effectively.”