The Bickerstaffe Record
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Being Labour, Cotterill on the Council

Shadow cabinet profile

06.08.10 | Comment?

One thing I didn’t quite get round to doing before I went away was to announce the Shadow Cabinet for this coming  municipal year, although it was set out in the council papers for 19th May.

Of course, the key change from those papers is brought by the untimely death of Terry Rice, whom I had appointed to the finance portfolio.  I will announce a successor to Terry in due course.

Other people and positions are:

Neil Furey: Deputy leader and Human Resources

Neil is knew to the deputy leadership, and raring to go.  The fact that he was marked out by the Tories at the last council meeting as someone ready to give them a bit of what for over their lamentable performance and behaviour will, I think, be an encouragement.

Neil will also take on Human Resources, which is likely to be very important this year given the council’s plans to go through a major privatisation exercise in cahoots with their County Council colleagues. 

They have tried to keep this as secret as possible, including rejecting a Labour council motion on the basis that there wasn’t really anything to talk about, but it is clear that the plans have major ramiifications both for service standards and for staff within the council.  Neil will be keeping a close eye on this and reporting back both to myself and to our Labour colleagues at the County and in other Lancashire boroughs.

Barry Nolan: Street Scene

Barry has done sterling work on street scene matters over the last couple of years, both around refuse collection (incl the wheelie bin roll out) and around general maintenance. 

While the portfolio is called ‘street scene’ for convenience, Barry will also be following up on issues around the inequitable park and facilities management across the borough.

Ian McKay: Recycling and environmental management

Ian has specialist knowledge in the area of waste management and recycling, and will be working within the council’s street scene division on these matters.  He will also pick up a proportion of the function within the awkwardly constructed ‘community services’ division around environmental health/food standards etc.

Nicki Hennessey:  Leisure Services

Nicki is a specialist in this area from her current and previous employment, and will focus on ensuring that both the council and its private contractor Serco are held to account over their poor performance in the provision of leisure facilities services, both indoor and outdoor.

Jackie Coyle: Transport

The transport function is one of many thrown into a jumble of a portfolio by the Tories, and this reflects their ‘couln’t care less’ attitude to the transport needs of residents in West Lancashire, exemplified in the way it simply ‘forgot’ about rail connections for planned Skem town centre, and by its total failure to come up with a decent concessionary travel scheme for older people in West Lancashire.

Labour recognises that this is a key area of provision, and Jackie will be devoting her energies to ensuring that trasnport matters are kept on the agenda.

Chirs Mawdsley: Regeneration and estates

Chris didn’t have a portfolio last year as he was wholly focused on Rosie’s re-election campaign in his full time Constituency manager post.  He’s back with a bang, bringing his eye for detail to the regeneration and planning (development) portfolio, with a particular focus on what the Tories are up to – or more likely what they’re avoidiong doing – around the much promiosed, little delivered Skem Town Centre.

Bob Pendleton: Housing

This is a big year for housing, with both the major changes planned for council housing finance put together by the Labour government, and the likelihood of ridiculous plans by the Tory government to abandon any commitment to affordable housing.  There’s been lots of cheap rhetoric from the local Tories, though little action on housing, and this is the year the chickens will finally come home to roost.

Bob’s the man for what is likely to be ‘full-on’ year in housing, with his detailed knowledge and experience in this area, and his ability to digest huge documents including appendices with one gulp.

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