THE new leader of South Ribble Borough Council has revealed his determination to make the authority one of the best in the country after being elected at a special meeting.

Councillor Peter Mullineaux, said he was prepared to work around the clock to restore the council’s reputation for delivering first class services for residents.

And, in a bid to get the ball rolling, he has already announced his new cabinet with Councillor Graham Walton taking on his former role as portfolio holder with responsibility for Neighbourhoods and Street Scene.

Councillor Mullineaux, a retired engineer with 13 years’ experience on the council, said: “There’s no doubt that it has been an extremely difficult time for the authority in recent months, and I regret any instances where residents feel we have not lived up to the high standards they rightly expect.

“What is important now is that we learn valuable lessons from what has happened and start to push forward and really look to the future.

“South Ribble has always been known as a council which punches well above its weight and I want to see it back up there as one of the top five district councils in the country.”

He added: “In the last week alone, we have signed-off plans for the £3.5m regeneration of Bamber Bridge, given the green light for improvements at our award-winning Worden Park and revealed our brand new gateway feature in Leyland – William the vintage tractor.

“And these are only the headlines. We have an extremely talented and hard-working team of officers who have continued to deliver despite uncertain times – that is a credit to each and every one of them and I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank them all.”

Councillor Mullineaux, replaces Acting Leader, Councillor Colin Clark, who stepped in following the resignation of former Leader of the Council, Councillor Margaret Smith, in July.

Councillor Clark is set to remain on the Cabinet as Deputy Leader.

Father-of-three, Councillor Mullineaux said: “I realise it’s going to be challenging, but along with my cabinet and with a strong will to work with other political parties, I am absolutely determined to make South Ribble an even better place to live, work and do business.

“It is an incredibly exciting time for the borough as part of the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal which is set to create thousands of new jobs, new homes and deliver 30 years of growth in a decade and we want to make the very best of it.

“I will put my all into making sure residents in South Ribble have a council they can be truly proud of.”

Councillor Mullineaux has served on the Cabinet since 2007.

In his role as Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Neighbourhoods and Street Scenes, he has overseen millions of pounds of investment in to parks and open spaces across the borough as well as a change in waste contractors which will save taxpayers £4.2m over seven years.

He also has more than four years’ experience as Deputy Leader.

As well as his commitment to the council, Councillor Mullineaux is involved with a number of outside bodies, including the Lancashire Police and Crime Panel, Lancashire Waste Partnership, the Safer South Ribble and Chorley Partnership as well as being a member of the Eastern My Neighbourhood Forum.