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New look for county council cabinet announced

Thursday, 1st May 2014.

Having fought off the recent challenge to his leadership, Suffolk County Council leader Cllr Mark Bee has announced the make-up of his new cabinet.

Improving educational attainment will be the sole focus of one councillor, while banking and investments experience has been brought in to help manage a £156million saving programme.

The new appointments will see two new faces join the top team while areas of responsibility, often called ‘portfolios’, are changed to reflect the council’s priorities. The total number of cabinet members remains the same.

Responsibility for education, skills and children’s services will now be split between two cabinet members, with Cllr Lisa Chambers focusing on leading the authority’s drive to improve educational attainment in Suffolk’s schools.

Cllr Gordon Jones will be responsible for children’s services, including early years and social care.

And former Merrill Lynch investment analyst, Cllr Jenny Antill, will take over responsibility for managing the authority’s £700million annual budget and four-year savings programme totalling £156million.

There will be two fewer assistant cabinet members than in the previous cabinet, with new roles for Cllr Matthew Hicks (assisting Cllr Chambers and Cllr Jones) and Cllr Jessica Fleming (assisting Cllr Rebecca Hopfensperger).

Speaking about the appointments, Cllr Bee said: “In deciding who to appoint to my cabinet, I have thought long and hard about the skills and personalities we need going forward.

“In these appointments, I firmly believe that we have the right mix.

“Leading Suffolk County Council is, and always has been, about more than just those sitting around table in cabinet member roles. It’s about consultation, open and public debate and partnership working.

"It’s only by working in this way that we will overcome the unprecedented financial and service challenges we are currently facing.

“I’m looking forward to working with my new cabinet colleagues and all councillors as we tackle the challenges ahead of us.”

The chairmanship of county council committees has also been confirmed today. Cllr Michael Ladd will be stepping into the role of chairman of the health scrutiny committee and Cllr Stephen Burroughes will be taking over as chairman of the education and children’s services scrutiny committee.

These changes will come into effect as of tomorrow. The chairmanship of the other committees remains unchanged.

Haverhill Online News

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