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Councillor Paul De Kort elected new Leader of St Albans City and District Council

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Councillor Paul De Kort is the new Leader of St Albans City and District Council.

He was elected to the role at the annual meeting of the Full Council on Wednesday 22 May and succeeds former Cllr Chris White who held the post for five years.

Cllr De Kort will chair the Council’s Strategy and Resources Committee which has responsibility for the budget and financial strategy.

He will also chair the Planning Policy and Climate Committee, which is currently drawing up a new Local Plan, a blueprint for the District’s future growth.

Cllr De Kort represents Harpenden East ward and has been a Councillor since 2021, holding a number of key positions.

These have included Vice-Chair of Strategy and Resources as well as Chair of the Constitution Committee.

He said after the meeting confirmed his appointment:

I am delighted to have been voted Leader by my fellow Councillors. 

This is a fantastic District, an amazing place to live, and I will now get to work on behalf of the District’s residents on the many important tasks that we are faced with.

“These include dealing with a very challenging financial climate and delivering a new Local Plan which will allow for much-needed new housing, infrastructure and commercial space while protecting the Green Belt as much as possible.

We will also continue to play our role in tackling the climate emergency, promote inclusive communities and work to ensure that our leisure provision remains at a very high level.

One of our priorities is to create more desperately-needed social housing and I am delighted that the Jubilee Square project will soon complete, providing more than 30 new homes for people on our housing register.

The Full Council meeting also agreed to the appointment of five other Lead Councillors who will each have a wide range of responsibilities. They are:

Councillor Helen Campbell: Deputy Leader, Chair of the Public Realm Committee and Lead for car parking, parks and leisure.

Councillor Anthony Rowlands: Vice-Chair of the Public Realm Committee and Lead for heritage and recycling.

Councillor Jacqui Taylor: Chair of the Housing and Inclusion Committee and Lead for housing and community safety.

Councillor Sarwar Shamsher: Vice-Chair of the Housing and Inclusion Committee and Lead for equality and inclusion.

Councillor Giles Fry: Vice-Chair of the Strategy and Resources Committee and Lead for resources.

Councillor Raj Visram: Vice-Chair of the Planning Policy and Climate Committee and Lead for climate.

Contact for the media: John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer, 01727 819533,