A NEW executive team has been put forward by Reading Labour Group, following the departure of the old leader.

Jason Brock will replace Jo Lovelock as leader of Reading Borough Council (RBC) with a series of other changes being proposed.

While many council figures will remain in charge of the same roles, other fresh faces have been promoted into executive posts.

Ellie Emberson, who was the youngest female councillor to be elected in 2018, will take over as lead member for Corporate and Consumer Services.

Councillor Tony Page will continue as deputy leader of the council, in addition to his role as lead member for Strategic Environment, Transport and Planning.

Cllr Brock, the newly-elected leader, said: “I am proud of our new team and we are determined to put standing up for all Reading’s residents at

the heart of everything we do with a particular focus on the environment, openness and inclusion.

"My style as a leader is to be open and collaborative. Gone are the days when we would simply announce fully-formed major policies.

"In future, whenever possible, we will invite Reading’s people to tell us what they want from their council so we can develop our policies in collaboration with them."

The suggestions for the new executive team will be put forward to the full council on May 22.

Cllr Lovelock, nearing her 70th birthday, was leader of the council from 2008 to 2010 and again from 2011 until the present.

Other noteworthy changes to the executive team would see Cllr Karen Rowland replace Cllr Sarah Hacker as lead member for Culture, Heritage and Recreation.

Cllr Brock added: “In February, the council declared a climate emergency and announced our aim for Reading to be carbon-neutral by 2030. I want to make Reading a leader among councils in England in fighting climate change.

“Quality housing, along with education and training, are essential to providing all our residents with a base to meet their full potential. We will work to attract and nurture the best employers who can offercwork opportunities for everyone and allow Reading to continue to thrive.

“This is finally the year when Reading’s grant from the Conservative Government will be cut to zero. The people of Reading will rightly expect us to deliver all those services that they value – like filling potholes cutting grass, and cleaning the streets as well as protecting the most vulnerable in our community – despite us no longer receiving the Government support that our town deserves.

“It will take effort, imagination and diligence to find ways to make this year a successful one for all our residents and I am confident that with Labour’s new executive team, backed up by all our hard-working councillors and supported by Reading’s many fantastic community groups, we can continue to stand up effectively for the people of Reading.”

The full list of proposed leadership posts, chairs of committees and portfolio holders are:

• Leader of the council and chair of the Policy Committee – Cllr Jason Brock

• Deputy leader of the council – Cllr Tony Page

• Chair of the Adult Social Care, Children’s Services and Education Committee – Cllr David Absolom

• Chair of the Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport Committee – Cllr Debs Absolom

• Chair of the Housing, Neighbourhoods and Leisure Committee – Cllr Richard Davies

• Lead member for Adult Social Care – Cllr Tony Jones

• Lead member for Children’s Services – Cllr Liz Terry

• Lead member for Corporate and Consumer Services – Cllr Ellie Emberson

• Lead member for Culture, Heritage and Recreation – Cllr Karen Rowland

• Lead member for Education – Cllr Ashley Pearce

• Lead member for Health, Wellbeing and Sport – Cllr Graeme Hoskin

• Lead member for Housing – Cllr John Ennis

• Lead member for Neighbourhoods and Communities – Cllr Sophia James

• Lead member for Strategic Environment, Transport and Planning – Cllr Tony Page

• Chair of the Planning Applications Committee – Cllr Emmet McKenna

• Chair of the Licensing Committee – Cllr Debs Edwards