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Leader of the Council, Cllr Joe Orson introduces the Cabinet

Published Friday, 24th May 2019

In November 2018 the Council approved a move to a new cabinet structure in order to speed up the decision making process and to meet the Council’s commercial ambitions.

On 16 May 2019, newly elected Councillors met for the first time as a Council at their Annual Meeting where Cllr Joe Orson was re-elected by unanimous vote as Leader of the Council.

Councillor Orson said: “I am delighted to announce the formation and membership of Melton Borough Council’s first ever Cabinet. This Cabinet will bring leadership and public accountability as we work to deliver the best services to the people of Melton. We will be a collaborative cabinet who work with members across the Council to develop and deliver a new corporate strategy, one that responds to the challenges faced by both the Council and our communities.

I am delighted to confirm that Cllr Leigh Higgins will continue in his role as Deputy Leader, but now with responsibility for the Growth and Prosperity portfolio. Following the significant building blocks we have put in place; now is the time to deliver the infrastructure, housing and jobs growth that Melton requires. Cllr Higgins will be leading on establishing what the long term and sustainable future for Melton’s leisure facilities will be and also be responsible for driving the regeneration of the town centre and regenerating the town centre regeneration, growing , tourism, and promoting borough.

Cllr Ronnie De Burle will bring his considerable capability to bear as he takes on the Corporate Finance and Resources portfolio. With a significant emphasis on driving the commercial agenda and plugging the funding gap, Cllr de Burle will also lead on maximising the benefits from our corporate property portfolio which will allow us to invest more in our services to residents.

Having played an important role in supporting the change in governance at the Council , Cllr Alison Freer-Jones will take on the Corporate Governance, Access and Engagement portfolio, responsible for the effective running of our new governance and decision making processes, as well as ensuring our services are accessible to everyone in our communities and that we actively promote democracy and engagement with our residents in whatever we do.

Cllr John Illingworth will bring his considerable experience as our previous planning chair to the Environment and Regulatory Services portfolio. Bringing together a number of key operational services, Cllr Illingworth will oversee some of our largest service areas in waste and environment including the Country Park, Environmental Health and Conservation.

Cllr Alan Pearson will take on the Housing and Communities portfolio, building on his excellent work as the previous chair of the People Committee. We have made improving the quality of our housing stock a priority and will continue to do so over the coming years.  Among Cllr Pearson’s responsibilities will be Council housing tenancy management, maintenance and repairs and homelessness and housing options. He will also play a lead role in our prevention and early intervention agenda, as well as chairing the Community Safety Partnership in delivering a safer Melton.

Together, we form the first Cabinet of Melton Borough Council and we look forward to working with all members in the Council and residents in tackling the challenges facing our communities. We will all work together to ensure that Melton is a safe, attractive and prosperous community in which to live, work and visit.”

For a comprehensive list of the responsibilities for each cabinet member please see our website:


For more information please contact:

Hazel Paterson

Communications Officer

Melton Borough Council

01664 504294