New Cherwell partnership reflected in changes to county cabinet

The new partnership between Cherwell District Council and Oxfordshire County Council is strongly reflected in changes that have been made to personnel and roles on the county council’s cabinet.

One of the main changes, which will become effective on September 1 , will see Councillor Ian Corkin join cabinet in a joint position with Cherwell District Council. He will be on the Cabinet of the county council and Executive of Cherwell District Council looking at all aspects of county council service delivery in Cherwell. He will chair a joint partnership committee of both councils that will be looking at joint working.

In early October Yvonne Rees, the current Chief Executive of Cherwell District Council will also become the Chief Executive of Oxfordshire County Council.

Councillor Hudspeth said: “The new partnership is a very important project for both councils and we need to reflect that in terms of our cabinet. I have agreed with Cllr Barry Wood, the leader of Cherwell District Council, that we will have a new joint cabinet role with Cllr Ian Corkin filling it.

Councillor Barry Wood added: “This position reflects the changes that will begin to take real shape in the coming months of 2018 and beyond. I look forward to the new arrangements bedding in and working closely with Cllr Corkin.

Councillor Corkin, who represents the Ploughley division, near Bicester at County Hall and Fringford and Heyfords Ward at Cherwell, added: “Exciting times lie ahead as we work on this new arrangement for local government in the north of Oxfordshire. I look forward to taking on this new role.”

Cherwell District Council and Oxfordshire County Council will jointly fund the new role.

Other changes to the county council cabinet

There will be a new role of Cabinet member for Transformation which will be taken on by another new face to cabinet - Cllr Eddie Reeves. This will be a key portfolio delivering the Fit For the Future programme with responsibility for ICT, Property and Procurement and there will be close links with the Cherwell partnership.

Councillor Hilary Hibbert-Biles has decided to stand down from cabinet and her portfolio of Public Health and Education will be split between two existing cabinet members.

Public Health will be joined to Adult Social care with Cllr Lawrie Stratford continuing in that role. Cllr Lorraine Lindsay-Gale will take on Education and join this with Cultural services.

Logical combinations

Councillor Ian Hudspeth, the leader of the county council, said: “It is logical to combine public health with adult social care and cultural services with education. There are a lot of synergies; especially as we are working with our Health Partners on an Integrated Care System. Public Health funds will continue to be ringfenced as per Government guidelines

“One of the biggest issues over recent months/years with schools has been property due to the involvement of Carillion. Although we have broken our link with Carillion there are still a number of ongoing issues predating our terminating the contract. The fact that Cllr Lindsay-Gale was working in property as part of her previous portfolio and therefore understands the issues will be an advantage.

“As part of his key new role Councillor Eddie Reeves will chair the cross party working group for the Fit For the Future programme, transforming council services in future years.”

“I would like to thank Councillor Hilary Hibbert-Biles for all of her hard work as cabinet member covering the public health and education portfolios.”

National committee

Councillor Hudspeth will be appointed Chairman of the LGA Wellbeing Committee 1st September which has responsibility for Adult social care, with the publication of the Government’s Green paper.