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Former finance chief Simon Letts is to be the new Leader of Southampton City Council.
The 27-strong team of Labour councillors in Southampton met on Friday 10th May to decide who should succeed Richard Williams and Simon Letts was their unanimous choice.
Cllr Letts was first elected to Southampton City Council in 1991 and has represented Freemantle, Bitterne and Millbrook wards. He has spent the past 12 months as cabinet member for resources. He also brought an amicable end to the dispute between the council and its staff which had led to major disruption for residents, including more than a million bin bags left uncollected across the city. The peace deal brokered by Cllr Letts spared the council, and Southampton taxpayers, from a legal bill of up to £12m.
Cllr Letts said: "I am genuinely humbled to have been elected by my colleagues as their nominee to lead the council. Southampton is without a doubt the premier city of Southern England. It has a historic past and a great future.
"My priorities will be bringing in outside investment to our city, doing all in my power to raise the living standards of all of our citizens and ensuring that Richard Williams vision for a Sustainable Southampton is delivered on."
Cllr Letts, 49, is a secondary school teacher, and has lived in the City since 1981. He lives with his partner Carolyn and there two children aged 14 and 20. He volunteers for a local children’s charity and his interests include Cinema, Theatre, Sport and a good pint of Real ale.
He will be the permanent replacement to Richard Williams, who left the council last month (April) following 17 years of service. Cllr Jacqui Rayment has tackled his duties as acting leader during the interim period.
Cllr Simon Letts will be unveiled as Southampton City Council’s new leader when the Labour-run authority meets on Wednesday, May 15.