A COUNCILLOR has been promoted to Malvern Hills District Council’s Executive committee only fifteen months after winning a by-election.
Tory, Coun Melanie Baker has become the portfolio holder for Planning and Housing and has vowed to ensure there are enough homes to meet demand in the district while also protecting communities from unsuitable developments.
She takes over the role from fellow Conservative Adam Rea who stood down from the position due to work commitments.
In May last year Coun Baker overturned a Liberal Democrat majority to win the Chase ward by-election and was asked to join the Executive by council leader David Hughes.
Coun Baker’s duties will include chairing the Planning Committee and having a major role in the implementation of the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) – a combined plan for Malvern, Wychavon and Worcester which has earmarked land for 28,370 new homes across the three districts by 2030.
The 46-year-old said a balance had to be struck between providing much needed new homes and protecting communities within Malvern Hills district.
“I’m honoured that the council leader has put his faith in me,” she said. “It’s a hugely exciting opportunity to help shape things for the future.
“We have a very important task ahead of us; to implement the SWDP which will both set out the blueprint for planning for the next decade and give district councils the power to dismiss developments that are inappropriate for the communities we serve.
“In my new role I want to promote appropriate developments that meet the needs of residents, including contributions towards schools, play areas, village halls and other ways of benefiting communities.”
Coun Baker’s new position comes on top of her existing work as a ward councillor.
“I am still absolutely committed 100 per cent to the residents of Chase ward who elected me their local councillor last year, it’s a role I love.” she added.