Council boss decides to freshen things up
First published Wednesday 4 June 2014 in News
FOLLOWING the election there are set to be a number of changes at the top of council, with key areas being run by new faces.
Although the Conservatives extended their majority in the council chamber, Claire Ellis failed to win a seat in Old Town, while Mike Bawden stood down after more than 40 years as a councillor due to illness.
As a result council leader David Renard (Con, Haydon Wick), who has the task of appointing the cabinet, has brought in several new faces.
Brian Ford (Con, Wroughton) will become the cabinet member for Streetsmart, meaning he will be responsible for waste disposal, refuse collection and other tasks such as the removal of graffiti.
He is a long-standing councillor and previously held a cabinet post, acting as deputy leader.
The second new member of the cabinet is Emma Faramarzi (Con, Priory Vale), who will take on responsibility for housing and public safety.
She was first elected to the council in 2012 and managed to extend her majority in last month’s local elections.
Coun Renard said: “You always need some continuity but it is always good to freshen things up a little.
“A number of people approached me saying they would like to be considered for cabinet but I’m pleased with who we have in.
“Brian has previous experience in the cabinet and worked as a deputy under Mike Bawden about ten years ago.
“Emma has done a great job as chairperson of one of the overview committees so I’m pleased to have her on board.”
There are also set to be a number of changes to the portfolios of existing cabinet members.
The most notable is that while Keith Williams (Con, Shaw) will remain responsible for leisure and libraries, dealing with transport issues will become a job for Dale Heenan (Con, Covingham and Dorcan).
Richard Hurley (Con, Covingham and Dorcan) will remain in cabinet but will move from dealing with Streetsmart and become the cabinet member for communities, where he will work towards trying to get locals more involved in services such as adult care.
“I had previously asked Dale to work at getting through the Local Plan but that process is nearing its conclusion,” said Coun Renard.
“He will now be responsible for transport. Keith will remain overseeing leisure and libraries because there are some key decisions to be made and I wanted some continuity.”
The new-look cabinet will come into effect following Friday’s council meeting.