Labour reveal new job roles after tragedy

Coun Kath Benson
Coun Kath Benson
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Blackpool’s Labour group has appointed a new councillor to its ruling cabinet following the sudden death of former Mayor Eddie Collett earlier this year.

Coun Kath Benson, who represents Layton, will join the executive as cabinet member for schools and learning.

Councillor Luke Taylor

Councillor Luke Taylor

Another change sees Coun Luke Taylor appointed as cabinet assistant to deputy leader Coun Gillian Campbell.

He replaces Coun Vikki Singleton who becomes assistant to cabinet secretary Coun Graham Cain.

Coun Debbie Coleman, who held that role, is set to be moved to a new position which is yet to be formally confirmed.

Coun Campbell said it had been difficult to replace Coun Collett who was one of the council’s most experienced members.

She said: “We were all struck by the death of Coun Eddie Collett earlier this year and he was one of the most experienced cabinet members, so this did require a bit of thought.

“The council leader said at the time of Eddie’s death that they would be very big shoes to fill, so we decided to step back and look at the roles a little more thoroughly.

“So while there have only been minor changes in who is on the cabinet, we have also made a few changes to their roles and responsibilities.

“We are delighted to welcome Coun Kath Benson to the cabinet.

“She has proved herself to be incredibly effective and knowledgeable in her role as chair of the resilient communities scrutiny committee and I’m sure she will do an excellent job as Cabinet Member for Schools and Learning.

“Coun Luke Taylor will also join the broader team as my cabinet assistant.”

Mr Collett, who represented Tyldesley ward, died in July, aged 58, after a short illness.

His son David retained the ward for the Labour party following a by-election held in September.