At a full Council meeting on Thursday 19th October Councillor Rachel Bailey, Leader of Cheshire East Council, announced changes to her cabinet which include councillors Peter Groves and George Hayes stepping down from their cabinet positions.
In addition Councillor David Brown decided to stand down last month 'for the time being' as Portfolio Holder was for Transport and infrastructure - the day after Cheshire Constabulary announced it is investigating the Council's allocation of a £70,000 grant to Berkeley Academy in Wistaston for a car park.
Councillor Jos Saunders, ward member for Poynton East and Pott Shrigley, takes on the children and families portfolio.
There are a number of other changes to the portfolios of other cabinet members to accommodate the responsibilities of the democratic and public engagement, assurance and ICT portfolio.
The key changes are:
- Cllr Liz Wardlaw – Deputy Leader Health, also customer operations, public engagement and libraries;
- Cllr Ainsley Arnold – Housing, Planning and Regeneration, also trading standards, licensing, environmental health and air quality;
- Cllr Janet Clowes – Adult Social Care and Integration, also safer communities;
- Cllr Paul Findlow – Corporate Policy and Legal Services, also civil protection and emergency planning, democratic services and corporate risk management;
- Cllr Paul Bates – Finance and Communication, also bus service review, car parking (interim), ASDVs;
- Cllr Don Stockton – Environment – formerly Assets and Regeneration – now including local transport plan, car parking and cultural services.
Councillor Rachel Bailey said: "I am very grateful for the contribution which both Peter Groves and George Hayes have made through their work in the cabinet.
"Councillor Peter Groves has served on the cabinet in a variety of roles, including the portfolio brief of finance in what are well recognised as uniquely challenging times for local government funding.
"Councillor George Hayes started as my deputy cabinet member in children and families before going on to become the cabinet member for children and families. He has been a passionate advocate for the young people of Cheshire East. I'm pleased that Cllr Hayes will continue leading The Skills and Growth Company, as he has done throughout its successful first year of operation."
Speaking on the announcement, Councillor Groves said "It's been an interesting and at times challenging journey, dealing with the media and working to improve our communications with residents and getting to grips with new IT systems, which will help us become even more effective going forward.
"I have also enjoyed the challenges involving the council's democratic process and dealing with risk and complaints, and emergency planning. I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to all at Cheshire East Council who have helped and supported me, both officers and members.
I would also like to wish the leader Rachel Bailey and the cabinet every success going forward."
Cllr Hayes added "I have loved every minute of serving children and their families through my work at Cheshire East Council since I was first elected in May 2015.
"During this time, we have made some remarkable achievements, sustaining examination results at all key stages above national averages, remaining in the top 20 local authorities for the percentage of Good and Outstanding schools and having the lowest number percentage of young people not in education, employment or training (Neets).
"Our work surrounding the 'Emotionally Healthy Schools' programme should also not go unrecognised - rolling out to schools across the borough in order to ensure that our young people truly get the best start in life. I remain dedicated to serving children and their families through my continued involvement, primarily as a school governor.
The leader and cabinet have my support, as I focus on the Skills and Growth Company, and we all strive forwards for Cheshire East and our residents."
Photos: Councillor Jos Saunders and Council Leader Rachel Bailey.