Returning leader of Havant Borough Council says his cabinet is '˜aspiring for greatness'

THE leader of Havant Borough Council has returned after taking a five-month sabbatical.

Thursday, 11th January 2018, 6:00 am

Conservative councillor Michael Cheshire has resumed the local authority’s top spot after taking time to ‘learn about history’.

He announced his departure in July, before his position was taken on by Anthony Briggs, Havant Borough Council’s (HBC) deputy leader.

Now, as he steps back into his post as chief, he says he is inheriting a ‘dynamic’ team which is ‘aspiring for greatness’.

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Cllr Cheshire said: ‘The residents of Havant should be excited with the way the borough is progressing.

‘The people in the cabinet are all aspiring for greatness and will continue to be excellent councillors.

‘No one is indispensable and anyone can step into another’s shoes.

‘They are dynamic and fresh – that’s what we want for Havant.’

Having served HBC since 2006, Cllr Cheshire – a former commander of HMS Victory – says his time off was spent pursuing a keen interest.

He said: ‘I have been a councillor for about 12 years now – it was time to reflect.

‘I went all over the place learning and talking about history – something I have always been interested in – especially since I was in the Royal Navy.

‘In the meantime, Cllr Briggs took over the leadership extremely well.’

As he gears up to lead HBC through a new year, Cllr Cheshire says there are clear priorities in place, particularly focusing on the council’s finances and its Draft Local Plan for 2036.

He said: ‘We are now straight into the budgeting process for 2018/19, making sure we are getting value for money for our residents.

‘We are also looking at the regeneration of our town centres.

‘We want to push for positive, economic growth in these areas, while ensuring Havant remains a pleasant place to live for current residents and those we see in the future.’