Mary Mears is Conservative Councillor for Rottingdean Coastal ward and the Conservative Group's Spokesperson on Housing.
Mary was Leader of the Council during the last Conservative Administration in Brighton & Hove between 2007-11.
The Council Administration led by Councillor Mears was the first Conservative administration many parts of the City had elected for almost 20 years.
As Council Leader from 2008, Cllr Mears led a fiscally responsible Council that ran the ruler over the City's finances, saving £40 million of council taxpayer's money that was being wasted and then going onto introduce a Value for Money Programme which saved the City a further £75 million over 4 years and £92 million before it was stopped by the subsequent Greens’ administration.
In addition to saving taxpayer's money, Cllr Mear's Conservative administration also prioritised creating new revenue streams, generating revenue by building new beach huts and investing in the Brighton Centre following on from the previous Labour administration who had wanted to close the diary.
By exercising good financial management, the Conservative Administration of 2007-11 was able to deliver a dividend for the City, easing pressure on taxpayers while guaranteeing service delivery and providing continuity of employment for staff. The Conservatives were able to deliver Zero % increases in Council Tax over each of the 4 years it was in administration in Brighton & Hove, easing pressure on residents. There were no strikes or industrial action. It is worth noting that all this was achieved in the middle of a global financial crisis.
Cllr Mears' Conservative administration was able to resolve the Council’s Equal Pay gap which Labour had failed to deal with during its years in power, while also improving services – a recommendation had been given to the Administration to close and board up the King Alfred but we invested £2 million to keep it open and running, while also restoring the iconic seafront bandstand to its former glory.
Cllr Mear's Conservative Adminstration was focused on improving the state of the city and restoring civic pride and Mary was proud of being able to provide additional resources towards this including a rolling programme for painting railings, adding extra grass cuttings and purchasing a machine to remove chewing gum from the pavements. The administration also restored the famous Madeira Lift to working order.
This positive work resulted in the Conservative Council Leader Mary Mears being recognised with a national Local Government personality of the year award following the completion of the Conservatives’ four-year term.
Mary is currently Chairman of the Royal British Legion Brighton & Hove Branch and also currently serves as Deputy Mayor of the City.