Thursday, May 13, 2010

All Change

For readers with a political interest, the new Conservative Cabinet at Thanet District Council was revealed at the annual meeting of the council this evening.

The new leader is of course Bob Bayford and his deputy is Martin Wise who now passes his responsibility for finance to Cllr Bayford and instead, assumes the waste management and tourism portfolio formerly held by Shirley Tomlinson. Other members of the Cabinet are Cllr Chris Wells, who assumes responsibility for communities and housing from his predecessor, Cllr Zita Wiltshire. Cllr Roger Latchford  continues his good work on developing the local economy. The final member of the new team is me and I keep Customer Services, IT and Communications but with an immediate responsibility for regulatory matters.

In the coming weeks the Cabinet responsibilities will be further refined and distributed among the new team and we will be working on a new corporate plan for the year ahead.

So the Cabinet is much smaller than before and this represents part of the drive to cut costs from the democratic services budget. Cllr Wise has very generously chosen not to take the Deputy Leader's responsibility allowance. The council tonight also agreed that members would not take the recommended increase in their allowances. I understand this has now remained stationary for six years and irrespective of political party Members hope it sets an example for the difficult times that lie ahead.

Council tonight paid tribute to the outgoing leader, Sandy Ezekiel for the remarkable effort he has put into working for the people of Thanet for the last seven years. In the same week we have a new Government, we also have an opportunity to start a new chapter in Thanet's politics and policies and I for one look forward to the challenge of working with a new leader and my Cabinet colleagues and council officers; all of us devoted to the goal of making Thanet a better, more attractive and more prosperous home for us all.

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