Cabinet appointments approved at Full Council
8 May 2012
Essex County Council’s new Cabinet appointments have been confirmed by Full Council as Cllr Sarah Candy and Cllr Tracey Chapman officially step down from the Cabinet after many years of service.
The two members, who will remain as councillors, chose to stand down for their own personal reasons and have been thanked for their contributions during their time in office.
County Council Leader, Councillor Peter Martin, said: “Both Sarah and Tracey have served on the Cabinet with distinction for a number of years and I would like to pay tribute to the contributions that they have made to the work of the Council during that time. They will both be sorely missed from the Cabinet but will continue to play important roles in the work of the Council.”
As well as reflecting Cllr Chapman and Cllr Candy’s departure, the Cabinet restructure recognises other changes the council has had to make in managing its responsibilities.
In the new structure Cllr Ray Gooding is being promoted from his role as a deputy to succeed Cllr Sarah Candy as the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services while Cllr Derrick Louis will move into the role of Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation vacated by Cllr Tracey Chapman’s resignation.
Cllr Louis said: “I am very pleased to take up this new role. The portfolio for Highways and Transportation is a challenging one, but I look forward to building on the excellent work of the previous Cabinet Members. We have recently entered into the new strategic partnership with Ringway Jacobs and I will be glad to be involved in delivering services in an innovative way and securing quality and the best value for money for the people of Essex.”
A new portfolio for Public Health and Wellbeing has been created in recognition of the new responsibilities that the County Council will take on in 2013 and in recognition of the important changes taking place in the health sector and this role will be overseen by Cllr Ann Naylor. Cllr John Aldridge will join the Cabinet taking over Cllr Naylor’s previous Adult Social Care portfolio.
Cllr Louis previously had responsibility for Procurement, Property and Major Projects which has now been merged into the Deputy Leader, Cllr David Finch’s portfolio.
Cllr Chapman’s Cabinet career spans 11 years. She first joined the Cabinet as Member for Environment, Heritage and Culture in 2001 and then took on the portfolio for Children and Families for five years from 2003. She became Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste in 2008 before taking over Highways and Transportation.
Cllr Chapman made a big contribution to the Council’s excellence in emergency planning and oversaw the establishment of a joint emergency planning function with Essex Fire and Rescue. She helped initiate a 5-year Safer Essex pledge to make Essex the safest place in the country. She also negotiated the Inter Authority Agreements with districts councils to increase the rate of recycling across the county and helped secure agreement to the Shoreline Management Plan and was involved in setting up the first county-wide flooding group.
Cllr Chapman said: “Working for the Cabinet over the last 11 years has been a tough yet highly rewarding experience and I am thrilled to have been involved in some valuable projects. The work has been varied, including working with our district and borough colleagues to help hit recycling targets across the county, helping ensure Essex has some of the best coastal defences in the country, working to achieve Beacon status in emergency planning for the County Council and seeing the County Council enter into a strategic partnership with Ringway Jacobs to form Essex Highways. I want to say thank you to councillors, officers and others who have helped to achieve these.”
Cllr Candy has served as the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services since February 2010. Prior to this, Cllr Candy was Cabinet Member for Finance and Change Management from February 2008 to February 2010, and before that she was the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, from May 2005.
Cllr Candy has been a member of the County Council since June 2001. Her previous roles include being Chairman of the Children, Families and Schools Policy Development Group, as well being Deputy to the Leader of the Council. She was in charge of the council’s finances when it began a £200m transformation programme of which the savings target was later increased to £300m. She also introduced a council tax rebate for vulnerable people of £100 in 2009.
Cllr Candy said: “I have felt privileged to be involved in some innovative and exciting projects in the years I have been in Cabinet and feel particularly proud to have overseen improvements in our adoption service and pleased our children’s services rating has improved to adequate. It has been satisfying to have been involved in setting children’s services on an improvement journey towards what Essex children deserve. Securing schemes such as Community Budgets and Troubled Families show the drive and ambition of Essex and its commitment to deliver the very best services for children and young people.”
In addition to the changes in Cabinet posts some portfolio responsibilities will also change now the new Cabinet structure has come into effect. Adult Community Learning, which previously came under Cllr Jeremy Lucas’s portfolio as the Cabinet Member for Environment and Culture, will now be the responsibility of Cllr Stephen Castle. He will also be taking over the responsibility for special schools and special educational needs from the Children’s Services portfolio to bring together all-age education into an Education and Lifelong Learning portfolio. Emergency Planning and flood and water management will also move from the Highways and Transportation portfolio to Cllr Jowers’ Communities and Planning portfolio.