All change as new Fenland District Council leader appoints his top team ahead of being ratified for the top job
It’s all change at Fenland District Council following the appointment of new leader Councillor Chris Seaton by the ruling Conservative party.
Coun Seaton, who is due to be ratified as leader by the full council on Thursday (22, spent yesterday evening (Thursday) organising his top team.
The new cabinet sees many familiar faces lose their jobs with new faces being brought in as Coun Seaton sets about taking the council forward over the next year. It should be noted that in the unlikely event something goes wrong and Councillor Seaton is not formally appointed as leader then the new cabinet could change too.
Councillor Seaton beat off rival Councillor Chris Boden for the top job winning by a close margin. But Coun Boden can take some comfort after being given the chairmanship of the overview and scrutiny committee - pushing out long-serving councillor Fred Yeulett from the role.
Manea councillor Mark Buckton takes on the role of leisure and young people ousting Councillor Michelle Tanfield, who held the position under former leader Councillor John Clark.
He sparked the need for a new leader when he shocked his Tory colleagues by resigning as leader at a group meeting on January 11. He has been given the chairmanship of the council’s corporate governance committee.
Also out is Councillor Will Sutton replaced in the cabinet by Councillor Dee Laws who takes over the portfolio for neighbourhood planning.
Councillor Simon King, who is currently awaiting a conduct hearing on alleged discrepancies in his expenses, was not reinstated into the cabinet.
But Councillor David Mason has been brought in to replace Councillor Ralph Butcher as portfolio holder for growth.
Staying put is long-serving Chatteris Councillor Peter Murphy who remains in charge of the environment portfolio. Councillor David Oliver also remains put as community and heritage portfolio holder.
Relative new-comer Councillor Ann Hay takes over Councillor Seaton’s old job as cabinet member for finance, and recently de-selected Councillor Mike Cornwell, who will not be contesting his seat at next year’s local elections, remains as cabinet member for communities and also as party whip.
Other committee chairmen are: Councillor Maureen Davis, staffing; Councillor Michael Humphrey, licensing - a role he has held for some time; Councillor Alex Miscandlon, planning and Councillor Sam Hoy remains head of the conduct committee.
Vice-chairmen of the various committees are yet to be appointed with the exception of planning with the job going to Councillor Sam Clark.
Councillor Chris Seaton has declined to comment at this stage stating he would rather wait until after he has been officially ratified as leader before talking about his new role.