Council leader says we’re in good shape - but cuts are inevitable

editorial image
  • Cllr Andrew Mobbs was re-elected as leader of Warwick District Council in May
  • He will lead the new Conservative-led council through the next four years
  • The council will look to money-saving projects as central Government funding is likely to be cut

Changes are on the way as the leader of Warwick District Council spoke of plans for the next four years amid funding cuts, a Tory majority and plans to slash spending.

Andrew Mobbs was this week elected as leader for a second time, with a Conservative-led council to bring “fresh faces and fresh approach” to the district.

There will not be many changes as we have been all encompassing in the past and will continue to be so

Andrew Mobbs

The Kenilworth councillor was appointed leader of the authority in 2013. And following this month’s election he is looking forward to a fresh start with 31 of 46 seats having Conservative councillors.

Despite this majority he wants to see all scrutiny groups chaired by the opposition so that an “all listening” council can continue.

“I have to thank residents for showing their faith in how we have been running the council since 2007,” he said.

“I want to lead in a manner that continues our sound financial management and improves services.

“However, I am mindful that although we have a successful local economy there are residents who will continue to experience difficulties.”

He said with more cuts to come from government funding, there are “difficult decisions” to be made.

“Our finances are in good shape,” he said. “We do have to find savings but our budget is built upon continued grant reduction from government.”

Plans are already in place to slash council costs by relocating the Riverside House headquarters to save up to £300,000 a year, privately outsourcing leisure centres and creating a cultural quarter in Leamington’s Royal Pump Room with private investors.

Cllr Mobbs said: “There are a lot of ways in which we can save money long term.

“Though in terms of the council there will not be many changes as we have been all encompassing in the past and will continue to be so.

“I want to maintain an inclusive council to listen to contrary points of view, though obviously it will make life easier having overall control.”

Cllr Mobbs dismissed any worries over unrest among his councillors over the Local Plan after previously losing members amid upset over proposals for thousands of new houses south of Warwick and Leamington.

He said: “There is the overwhelming view with new councillors that we need to provide housing, and there is great support to do so.”

The council will continue to find “conservative solutions” to benefit reforms expected to hit families, saying: “We don’t want to throw money at people, but look how we can help long term.”

He assured continued commitment to district business and employment, and said significant spends on HS2 were unlikely as the time for financial opposition had passed.