Refreshed Cabinet announced by Bristol Mayor
Photo by Ian Hayhurst CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
28 March, 2017
Several changes to major roles on Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees’ Cabinet have been made following a planned reshuffle ahead of Bristol City Council’s new financial year.
Announced on Friday, the new nine-strong Cabinet responds to a number of changes inside and outside of the Council, whilst putting resource behind top priorities such as housing, tackling congestion, social care and creating a fairer city.
Mayor Marvin Rees will take on an expanded portfolio with personal oversight of roads and congestion, economy, external relations (including international), sports, regional work through the West of England Combined Authority, city infrastructure (including arena), the Clean Streets campaign, City Office and democratic engagement.
The Mayor will also oversee the forthcoming Congestion Task Group, which will bring together a range of experts and city partners to focus on the long-term plan for tackling Bristol’s traffic congestion. The remaining group membership will be announced soon.
Under the new Cabinet the Council will have two Deputy Mayors. The first, Cllr. Craig Cheney, will continue his current focus on finance, governance and performance. The second, Cllr. Asher Craig, will take on a communities portfolio which includes the cross-cutting theme of public health, alongside public transport, leisure centres, libraries, community assets and parks.
Former Deputy Mayor Cllr. Estella Tincknell remains on the Cabinet with a new portfolio encompassing culture, events and equalities.
The remaining five Cabinet Members include a new appointment in the form of Cllr. Helen Godwin, who will be responsible for children and young people. Her counterpart for adult social care will be Cllr. Helen Holland. Cllr. Fi Hance has an amended portfolio covering energy, waste and regulatory services whilst two members, Cllr Paul Smith and Cllr Claire Hiscott, have unchanged portfolios for housing and education and skills respectively.
Two members are leaving the Cabinet. They are Cllr. Mark Bradshaw, who will step down on 14 April having completed some outstanding tasks, and Cllr. Clare Campion-Smith.
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, says:
“I appointed an interim Cabinet soon after taking office last May and I am very grateful for everyone’s hard work and commitment in successfully servings its purpose. In 10 short months we are in a very different position – both in terms of the City Council and the wider world.
“With support from the interim Cabinet I have got my feet under the table, set our priorities and got a deep understanding of the Council’s strengths and weaknesses. We’ve got a huge financial challenge and some important improvement to make as an organisation – issues which Deputy Mayor Cheney and I will pay close attention to and will cut across everyone’s portfolios. Meanwhile there are so many other factors, including local devolution, which are changing how we work and where we need to channel our energies. This refreshed Cabinet structure will allow me to take personal control of key issues whilst giving space for Cabinet Members to truly dedicate themselves to the tighter, focused areas of work which do what they say on the tin.
“There are two particular changes which I hope will benefit some of the city’s most vulnerable people. First is the move to elevate the issue of public health to a Deputy Mayor portfolio, ensuring we think about how it applies to all areas of the Council’s work. Second is the extra resource for social care and support, where two Cabinet Members can focus on children and adults respectively. This provides extra resource and attention to the detailed needs of the services, along with the ability to combine Cabinet resource around shared issues, such as the need for fairer funding from the government.”
There will also be three supporting Councillor Leads who will provide extra capacity for work on public transport, international relations and sport. They are Cllr. Steve Pearce (public transport), Cllr. Hibaq Jama (international relations) and Cllr. Kye Dudd (Sport). Councillor Leads are not formal Cabinet Members.
The new structure takes immediate effect as the Council approaches a new financial year and its Annual General Meeting in May.