New Council At FDC
We have only had our first meeting today, so its very early days, but I do feel pretty excited about the way things have started.
With a lot of new faces and some old faces in different places, I really had no idea how it was going to go. Broadly, I think it went pretty well.
Almost all of the various opposition, Indies, Lib Dems, etc, have formed an opposition party/group called the Fenland Independent Alliance. Which isn’t a terrible name, particularly concerned with some that have gone before.
They put in a handful of motions and the motions were what you would expect, a mixture of ideas and political shots fired. But they were well put together and seemed to be well-intentioned. There were some amendments and some discussion, but it was all fairly good spirited. I enjoyed it, and I have the feeling that most other Councillors of all stripes did too. There was a feeling of change and of a fresh start and for the most part people seemed happy with that. Sure, we disagreed, debated and verbally jousted, but most of the bitterness was gone and it seemed like the Council was ready to move on in its new incarnation.
After quite a few years as a backbencher, I was appointed to a Cabinet post by the new Leader, Cllr. Chris Boden. I have been given the role of Cabinet Member for Communication and Transformation, which I think is a pretty good “fit” for me and I’m excited about the promotion. I am particularly pleased as I think Chris Boden is going to be a fantastic Leader and I want to be a part of this fresh start and new journey that I believe he will lead us on. I will, as ever, aim to do the absolute best I can do in the role, for the people of Fenland.
For anybody interested in knowing the whole of the new Cabinet (and what the roles entail), this is it:
Chairman: Kay Mayor. Vice-Chairman: Alex Miscandlon.
Chris Boden – Leader of the Council and Finance: Finance/Budgets (Financial & Performance Management); Benefits (strategic); Corporate Governance; Electoral Services; Business Rates; Policy & Resources; Capital Programme; IDBs (strategic)
Jan French – Deputy Leader of the Council: Benefits (operational); ARP; Parking; Member Services
Steve Tierney – Transformation & Communication: Customer Access; Marketing & Communications; ICT & Broadband; Waste & Recycling (strategic); Energy Conservation; Equalities; Emergency Planning
Sam Hoy – Housing: Housing Strategy; Regulated Providers (strategic); Private Sector Housing; Homelessness; Rough Sleeping; Environmental Health (incl enforcement)
Sam Clark – Social Housing and Leisure: Regulated Providers (operational); Licensing (incl. enforcement); Travellers; Sports Development; Leisure Services
Chris Seaton – Social Mobility and Heritage: Skills; Transport; Rural Affairs; Community Cohesion; Education; Children & Young People; Tourism; Conservation; Heritage; Dilapidated Buildings & Enforcement;
Peter Murphy – Environment: Waste & Recycling (operational); Cleansing; Grounds Maintenance; Parks & Open Spaces; Markets & Events; War Memorials;
Ian Benney – Economic Growth: Strategic Assets & Management; Growth; Inward Investment; Port & Marine Services; Job stimulation; Asset disposal; Renaissance; Emergency Planning Deputy.
Maureen Davis – Communities: Health Inequalities; Health & Wellbeing; Supporting Vulnerable People; Golden Age Fairs; Community Partnerships; Community Grants; Police Liaison; CCTV; Community Safety; Pride in Fenland
Dee Laws – Planning: Local Plan; Neighbourhood Planning; Building Control; Planning Policy; Planning Delivery; Planning (operational); Building Communities & Neighbourhood Management; Section 106 & CIL; Flooding & IDBs (operational)
Going forwards I expect a number of challenges, no doubt. To quote Captain Ahab <ahem>: “Nothing is plain sailing.” It is going to take some original and innovative thinking to make sure that we can deliver better services, better savings for the taxpayer and a modern Council that will be able to face the future boldly. But this is a team I’m proud to serve alongside and I’m excited to get started.