The new leader of Daventry District Council says he will focus on maintaining and improving services in the run-up to the creation of new unitary authorities in the county.
Councillor Richard Auger also pledged to provide a strong voice for Daventry District as we move towards the reorganisation of councils in Northamptonshire by April 2021.
Councillor Auger was chosen as the new leader by the Council’s ruling Conservative group following the resignation of former leader Chris Millar and took on the new role on Friday 1 November.
The new deputy leader is Councillor Adam Brown, who takes on the role from Councillor Liz Griffin after she also stepped down.
Councillor Auger was elected as a councillor for Welford Ward on the District Council in May 2015 and held the Housing and Environmental Health Portfolio before his appointment as Leader. He also serves as a county councillor for the Daventry West Division.
Councillor Brown has represented Weedon Ward on DDC since May 2016 and has served as Chairman of the Scrutiny and Improvement Committee. He also represents Bugbrooke Division on the County Council.
Councillors Millar and Griffin made the decision to step down in August, as they will not be seeking election to the shadow unitary council in May 2020 and felt it important that a new leadership team who are looking to stand in the elections should take over.
Councillor Millar was elected to Long Buckby Ward on the District Council in 1998 and became the Leader in 1999, while Councillor Griffin has represented Woodford Ward since 1998. Both will continue to serve as Daventry District ward councillors.
Councillor Auger said: “I would like to pay tribute to the outstanding leadership that both Councillor Chris Millar and Councillor Liz Griffin have provided over so many years. Their sacrifice and public service have not gone unnoticed by the residents of the District.
“It is an honour and a privilege to be the Leader of Daventry District Council. I want the community to know that I will be focusing, from day one, to maintain and improve all our services.
“We have a number of exciting developments in progress that will improve the lives of residents, such as the new Mulberry Place cinema development in Daventry town centre, and the construction of the new state-of-the-art health rehabilitation centre for Reach for Health.
“We are also working hard to prepare for the introduction of the new unitary authorities, and I want to give this Council a voice to influence the new authority and help secure the services we need in this rural District.”
Before his time as a member of the District Council, Councillor Auger served as a Senior Leader and Commander in the Thames Valley Police where he enjoyed an extensive and wide-ranging career.
He received twelve Commendations during a 30-year career and in 1999 was awarded the prestigious High Sheriff's team award for his leadership and innovative approach to neighbourhood policing.
Specialising in tactical firearms, he was involved in hundreds of firearms operations. He was a member of the first firearms team to arrive and deploy at Hungerford during the massacre in 1987 and had two further stints on the team in the 1990s and 2000s.