• Thursday, June 20, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Neghat Khan to lead Nottingham council

Khan will formally take up her role as leader on May 20 during a meeting of the Full Council

FILE PHOTO: Neghat Khan defending plans to charge residents for parking a second and third car on residential streets at full council. (Photo: LDRS)

By: Joe Locker

COUNCILLOR Neghat Khan has been installed as the new leader of Nottingham city council.

The former Robin Hood Energy chairwoman and Dales ward councillor will take over from Cllr David Mellen, who this year announced he would be stepping down after a “challenging” five years.

Cllr Ethan Radford, who represents Bulwell, has also been selected as deputy leader and will take over from Cllr Audra Wynter.

The Labour-run council effectively declared bankruptcy by issuing a Section 114 notice in November, and the government appointed commissioners to help run the authority in February.

A Nottingham Labour group meeting to select a new leader was due to take place in April, however the party’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) stepped in to oversee the election.

The NEC interviewed potential candidates, and suitable applicants were due to be presented to the Labour group to choose from at a meeting at 6pm on Tuesday (7).

However, the NEC only selected Cllr Khan as a suitable candidate and she was installed as the new leader ahead of the meeting.

The move has left some members unhappy.

According to the Labour party, the primary purpose of the NEC is to provide strategic direction for the party as a whole.

It is made up of representatives from each section of the party, including the Shadow Cabinet, MPs, councillors, trade unions, socialist societies, Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs), Young Labour and BAME Labour.

Speaking of her new role, Khan said in a statement: “I am delighted to be taking up the roles of Leader of Nottingham Labour and Nottingham City Council.

“We know there are challenges ahead and I look forward to working with colleagues to make positive changes for our city.

“We have had 14 years of Conservative cuts to our funding.

“We will work hard to mitigate the impact of those cuts by championing our communities and delivering for Nottingham people.”

Khan was appointed on May 7 and will formally take up her role as leader on May 20 during a meeting of the Full Council.

She has previously held several senior roles, including Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods, Safety and Inclusion in 2022.

Khan was also a director of Robin Hood Energy before being appointed chairwoman in 2019, taking over from Cllr Steve Battlemuch who continued as a director.

The collapse of the council-run energy firm in 2020 cost taxpayers an estimated £38 million and was cited as a reason for the authority’s lack of financial resilience in issuing a Section 114 notice last year.

Significant government cuts, by around £100m every year over the last decade, and soaring demand and costs for social care and homelessness services have also been blamed for the council’s challenging financial situation.

On top of installing Cllr Khan, Labour’s NEC has also picked members for other positions.

Cllr Matt Shannon, who was elected in May last year to represent Castle ward, will become chief whip. The deputy whips will be Helen Kalsi and Sana Nasir.

Chairman of Nottingham Labour will be Meadows councillor,Mike Edwards, while Sulcan Mahmood will become treasurer.

(Local Democracy Reporting Service)

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