Cheshire East Council’s leadership has taken advantage of the sad resignation of a stalwart councillor to reshuffle the Cabinet.
Hilda Gaddum has decided to step down from her position as Cabinet member in charge of children and family services for family reasons. However, she will remain ward councillor for Sutton, where she has lived for more than 30 years.
Council leader Michael Jones and deputy leader David Brown see it as the perfect opportunity to bring in new faces and also introduce policy development groups as the authority moves towards its position as a policy-led council.
The six new groups (listed below) will be cross party – enabling the elected representatives of local people to influence policies affecting the communities they represent. The groups will have some meetings in private but, importantly, will meet regularly in public to ensure accountability to the public.
These will be complemented by three scrutiny committees (external, internal/corporate and health and wellbeing). Further details on these will be announced shortly.
Councillor Paul Findlow has now joined the Cabinet and will take the corporate policy portfolio. A former leader of Cheshire County Council, Councillor Findlow brings with him much experience in local Government.
Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “Firstly, I would like to pay tribute to Councillor Hilda Gaddum, who has served on this Cabinet since 2010 and given a high standard of committed service and enthusiasm.
“Whilst it is a loss to the Cabinet, it has provided us with a way to reorganise the Cabinet structure and I am delighted to welcome Councillor Findlow to his post, who I am certain will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the position.
“When I first became leader, I pledged to make this a more inclusive Council that listened to a wider range of voices. We are a Council that seeks to work in partnership – across the political divide – for the benefit of all the people of Cheshire East.
“The new arrangements will enable far more members to influence policy, which strengthens the democratic process.”
Councillor Findlow is a ward councillor for Prestbury and currently sits on outside organisations such as the Cheshire Police Appointments Joint Committee and the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE).
He is also a governor at King’s School, Macclesfield, and previously held the children and family services portfolio in Cheshire East Council’s first year (2009-10).
On her resignation, Councillor Gaddum said: “It is with great sadness that I have decided to step down from the Cabinet. I have had some wonderful times and have faced some great challenges but I believe I have taken these on in the best way that I could.
“It has been such a privilege to work with the many officers from children and family services and I would just like to say a huge thank you to all these incredibly hard-working people.
“Now, I would like to spend more time with my family but I am still a councillor and will continue to help the people of Sutton and Cheshire East with the issues that matter to them most.”
Councillor Rachel Bailey will now take on Councillor Gaddum’s vacant Cabinet position as part of the reshuffle. However, she will still be responsible for planning matters.
Councillor Peter Groves is now the chief whip.
The full Cabinet membership and support members are now as follows:
Councillor Portfolio Support member
Michael Jones Leader
David Brown Deputy Leader and Strategic Communities Lesley Smetham
Rod Menlove Environment Don Stockton/Gail Wait
Janet Clowes Health and Adult Social Care Stewart Gardiner
Peter Raynes Finance Peter Mason
Paul Findlow Corporate Policy David Marren
Jamie Macrae Prosperity and Economic Regeneration Peter Groves
Rachel Bailey Children and Family Services Rhoda Bailey
Barry Moran Performance David Marren
Les Gilbert Communities and Regulatory Services Steve Wilkinson
Policy development groups are as follows:
Group Chairman Vice chairman
Corporate and performance Andrew Kolker Peter Hayes
Finance Frank Keegan Brendan Murphy
Health and Adult Social Care Margaret Simon Jos Saunders
Children and Families Phil Hoyland Ken Edwards
Environment and Prosperity Bill Livesley Wesley Fitzgerald
Sustainable Communities Olivia Hunter Stan Davies