Posted: Thursday 23rd November 2017
David Williams has been appointed as the Leader of Hertfordshire County Council
Speaking at his first Full Council meeting, after being unopposed, he thanked Members for their support and said: “It is a huge honour to be your choice to lead this council and a privilege to serve the people of Hertfordshire.
“I will work hard to match the passion and dedication that Robert Gordon exemplified during his ten years as Leader and his untimely death in October. His defining legacy of Hertfordshire as the County of Opportunity is something I intend to continue taking forward; supporting council officers to deliver services to our residents that meet their expectations.
“A key priority is the need to deliver infrastructure to support the growth that’s planned for the county – and in particular those areas where we have direct responsibility, such as schools and roads. We need to plan for some 100,000 new homes and 100,000 new jobs in Hertfordshire over the next fifteen years. We also need to take a positive approach to influencing the delivery of housing that addresses local need and helping to secure and deliver supporting infrastructure.
“None of this can be achieved alone and we need to work even more closely with our local and national partners to advocate on behalf of those who live and work in Hertfordshire. We must ensure that the growth works for everyone and that any new development is co-ordinated and properly thought through. I intend to work with colleagues from across the political spectrum, to take forward a partnership approach with district, borough, town or parish councils, private sector developers and other public sector partners such as the NHS, Fire and Police.
“This is not a fresh start and I am immensely grateful for my predecessor, as well as my existing Cabinet colleagues and senior officers who show their expert calibre on a daily basis. I am also very grateful for the experience of Teresa Heritage as the Deputy Leader and am pleased to have her on board with many complementary skills”.
David will continue to be the Executive Member for Resources, Property and the Economy. He was first elected to the County Council in 2013 as the member for Harpenden North East and previously served as the Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Education and Skills and the Deputy Executive Member for Policy, Resources and Transformation. Born and educated in North Wales, David has an economics degree from Cardiff University and a MBA from Henley Business School. He lives in Harpenden with his wife Claire having first moved there in 1991. He has two grown-up children. Emma is a Buying Manager for Tesco based in Welwyn Garden City and Peter is an army officer in the Queen’s Gurkha Signals.
Other political leaders had congratulations to offer Cllr Williams:
- Judi Billing, Leader the Labour Group at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “I congratulate David Williams on being elected as Leader of the County Council, and Theresa Heritage as deputy leader. I hope and expect that David will be a fair leader, willing to listen to many views before coming to decisions. I particularly hope that he will uphold his predecessors commitment to democracy which is inherent in the debates we are able to have in Cabinet Panels and the difference we are able to make in our communities through meaningful locality budgets.”
- Stephen Giles-Medhurst, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group and official opposition at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “In congratulating David Williams as Leader of the County Council, and Teresa Heritage as deputy leader, the Liberal Democrats will work with them for the betterment of the whole of Hertfordshire whilst of course holding the administration to account. David’s predecessor, Rob, was always willing to listen, even if he did not always agree with the opposition views and would ensure we were given a say. We expect David and Teresa to ensure that alternative views and ideas are taken into account and like Rob not to enter into personal attacks. Democracy is inherent in listening to alternative views. David has shown he is willing to do just that without personal attacks and that bodes well for the future even if we might disagree on the outcomes.”
- Cllr Linda Haysey, Leader, East Herts Council, said: “I would like to congratulate David Williams on his appointment as Leader of Hertfordshire County Council. We welcome his plans to focus on the growth opportunities across the county, including those in East Herts, over the coming months, and his commitment to support future developments with the right infrastructure for our residents. We look forward to working with David and his team at this crucial time for both of our councils.”
- Cllr Sharon Taylor, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council, said, “My congratulations to David on his appointment. He is a strong advocate for the growth and potential of our county and, here in Stevenage, he has been supporting and influencing our regeneration plans. I look forward to continuing our work together and, with our partners and businesses across Hertfordshire and beyond, helping to shape future growth and opportunities.”
- Alec Campbell, St Albans City & District Council, said: “I congratulate David on becoming Leader of HCC. I have found that he understand the challenges and opportunities that face Hertfordshire. In particular the opportunities for growth and the right quality houses with supporting schools and transport infrastructure. David has been proactive with me in seeking to understand and address how we can better work together to deliver for our residents and businesses. I know he will stand up for Hertfordshire within the region and nationally and I am confident he will do this effectively. I look forward to working with and supporting him and his team to deliver success in Hertfordshire.”