Blackpool's new executive will lead town into future

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Coun Simon Blackburn has been unanimously re-elected as leader of the ruling Labour group on Blackpool Council ahead of what he hopes will be "a new era of cross-party working".

The full cabinet has been announced following the local elections with two new names in the line-up to replace councillors including Coun Amy Cross who is set to be installed as mayor for the coming civic year.

Coun Simon Blackburn

Coun Simon Blackburn

Opposition councillors have also been offered key roles in the new set-up.

Coun Blackburn said the line-up reflected priorities including mental health, reforms to housing benefit and addressing climate change issues and air quality.

He said: “I have decided to make limited changes, as I feel continuity is important as we continue to focus on those areas the people of Blackpool have told us are most important to them.

"As Coun Amy Cross has agreed to be mayor for the forthcoming year, her seat in cabinet has been filled by Claremont’s Coun Lynn Williams, who will report to me, in order to allow Coun Graham Cain to fully focus on children’s services and education at his request.

Blackpool Town Hall

Blackpool Town Hall

“There will be more of an emphasis on health, especially mental health, welfare reform (especially housing benefit), and environmental sustainability, climate change and air quality, over the next four years."

Newly elected Coun Neal Brookes will take on the role of cabinet member for housing and welfare reform after Christine Wright, who previously held the post, lost her seat

Three additional positions have been created and will be filled by opposition councillors including non-aligned Coun Maxine Callow who will chair the new scrutiny leadership board holding the council, its leader, the cabinet and the scrutiny panels to account.

Conservative councillor Paul Galley has been offered the role of chairman of Blackpool Transport Services and the Conservative group has also been asked to fill the vice-chairman's role on the licensing commttee.

Coun Blackburn said: "Coun Mrs Callow’s record of service to this town is of great significance, and her independent status will allow her to bring her considerable experience to bear, in the furtherance of the interests of Blackpool.

“I hope that this will herald a new era of cross-party working, which will put the needs of the town before narrow political divisions, and I look forward greatly to the next four years.”

The full cabinet line up for Blackpool Council is -

Leader - Coun Simon Blackburn; deputy leader - (children) Coun Graham Cain; deputy leader - (place and tourism) Coun Gillian Campbell; schools, education and aspiration - Coun Kath Benson; health and adults - Coun Lynn Williams; projects and partnerships - Coun Ivan Taylor; business, enterprise and job creation - Coun Mark Smith; housing and welfare reform - Coun Neal Brookes; community cohesion and leisure - Coun Maria Kirkland; environment, transport and climate change - Coun Fred Jackson.