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Cabinet reshuffle at town hall

Blackpool Town Hall

Blackpool Town Hall

A shake-up of the way town hall decisions are made could see more councillors given a say in how key policies are formed.

Blackpool Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn says he wants to take “a radical look at the role of elected members”.

In the meantime, with around 12 months to go before the next full local elections, two new faces have just been added to the ruling executive.

Coun Christine Wright has been appointed as cabinet member for heritage and culture, while Coun Eddie Collett has been given responsibility for health, following the departure of Sarah Riding, after returning to the cabinet following the end of his Mayoral year.

Coun Blackburn said: “If the people of Blackpool return another Labour administration in 12 months time, as I believe they will, we will be taking a radical look at the role of elected members, and how we embed the principles of elected members taking the lead in terms of policy, and being far more concerned in the business of delivery than they have ever been before.

“This may see a smaller cabinet, with increased responsibilities around policy formation and implementation for back-benchers and opposition members – but there is a great deal of work still to be done on this modelling, so for now, it’s all hands to the pumps.”

He added: “I’m delighted to be able to welcome Eddie Collett back into the cabinet following his Mayoral year, where he will take over the public health function from Sarah Riding, who stepped down a couple of months ago.

“Christine Wright joins the cabinet to take over the area of culture and heritage from me – as this will form an increasingly important part of Blackpool’s economic future.

“Crime and community safety is added to Gillian Campbell’s portfolio, in recognition of her excellent work in public protection and housing, while her environment and streetscene responsibilities pass to Amy Cross.”

Conservative group leader Coun Tony Williams said he would prefer to see changes to the way the management of the council was carried out rather than to the responsibilities of elected

councillors.

He said: “Elected members are often led to the wrong decision by senior officers who have their own agenda.

“I would like to radically change the management structure to be more transparent like that of a commercial enterprise delivering essential services to residents.”

 

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