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A Lichfield councillor is to become the new leader of Staffordshire County Council.
Cllr Alan White will replace Cllr Philip Atkins, who is to stand down from the role after 11 years in the top job.
The representative for Lichfield Rural East has most recently served as deputy leader.
He will be confirmed in the position at a meeting on Thursday (23rd July) after the decision was made a meeting of the controlling Conservative group this morning.
Cllr Atkins said balancing his day job as a farmer with public duties had become increasingly difficult.
“It has been an enormous privilege to lead the county council during one of the most challenging periods in the history of local government – and I believe now is the time to pass on to another.
“I will not be disappearing however as I have much still to do and offer Staffordshire in our economic recovery after the upheaval of the recent pandemic, which is taking up more and more of my time.
“Both Staffordshire and the council have changed enormously during that time, and much has been achieved by always focusing on delivering better outcomes for the people of this great county.
“I take great pride in the way this well-run council helped to lead the county out of the financial crisis of 2008, reigniting the economy, creating more jobs and transforming local public services to achieve the best outcomes for Staffordshire’s residents.
“None of this could be done without the efforts of both members and staff over that time.
“I will remain as the division member for Uttoxeter Rural and will stand at the next election. I offer the new leader and cabinet my continuing support in the months ahead.”Cllr Philip Atkins
Cllr Atkins said the response to the coronavirus had shown the way the council could adapt to meet the needs of residents.
“At every turn the council innovated, strived to find new ways of working and inspired people to play a more active role in their communities. Nowhere was this more evident than in our response to COVID-19, as the whole county came together to protect the vulnerable and support one another.
“The county council is in a strong position, and financially stable, and I have every confidence that Staffordshire will bounce back from the pandemic.”Cllr Philip Atkins