Council leader announces new cabinet

John Kent: Labour's majority of one was wiped out in the local elections

John Kent: Labour's majority of one was wiped out in the local elections

First published in News by

COUNCIL leader John Kent has announced a minority administration after voters wiped out Labour's majority in the local elections.

UKIP unseated five sitting councillors two weeks ago, including Labour cabinet member Angie Gaywood, demolishing Labour's tentative majority of one and leaving the council with no overall control.

Planned talks with new Conservative leader Rob Gledhill aiming to establish a "confidence and supply" arrangement were cancelled by Mr Kent after being revealed by the Gazette, leaving Labour as the largest party to form a minority administration alone.

Ms Gaywood has been replaced by Phil Smith on the public protection brief, while Victoria Holloway has moved from environment to his former job at central services.

The environment portfolio has been filled by Tony Fish following the completion of his term as mayor, while Lynn Worrall has become the cabinet's new housing spokesman after Val Morris-Cook stepped down and new cabinet member Richard Speight has taken her job at communities.

Councillors retaining their cabinet portfolios include Mr Kent on education, deputy leader Barbara Rice on adult social care and health, Bukky Okunade on children's social care and Andy Smith on transport and regeneration.

Mr Kent said: "First I'd like to say we'll miss Angie Gaywood - her determination and ability to liaise closely with partners and colleagues brought great success.

"I am sure Phil Smith will bring his eye for detail to the role.

"I'd also like to say we'll all miss Val Morris-Cook too.

"I'm sure we'll still hear her insightful comments at council meetings and Lynn will find the housing portfolio stimulating with all the exciting things that are going on there."

He added: "Looking ahead all members of the cabinet are going to have a busy year as the next round of funding reductions hit hard.

"That will no doubt be the first in a series of difficult decisions we will be facing as a council."

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