Witney News - Changes at West Oxfordshire District Council

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Changes at West Oxfordshire District Council

West Oxfordshire District Council has appointed its Executive for 2007/08, with the introduction of two new Cabinet portfolios.

Changes were made to the Cabinet at the Council's Annual Meeting on Wednesday, May 16th, following elections in a third of the District's seats on May 3rd.

Cllr Barry Norton was re-elected as Leader of the Council and announced the introduction of two new cabinet portfolios, 'Change & Improvement' and 'Communities'.

Announcing the new Cabinet of seven members, Cllr Norton said he had taken into consideration the “changing agenda” in Local Government being driven by Central Government and the need to address issues such as increased partnership working, pressure to make further efficiency savings, to engage more with local communities and the voluntary sector, and to recognise the increased emphasis of meeting the challenges of climate change.

Cllr Norton said: “I would like to thank Members for re-electing me as Leader of the Council and for their continuing support. I will continue to carry out duties as Leader of this Council to benefit all residents and members of the community in West Oxfordshire. There are real challenges that we face ahead and I am confident that our new Cabinet, with the introduction of the new portfolios, will deal these in the best way possible.”

The Cabinet portfolio arrangements are as follows:

* Cllr Verena Hunt will continue as Deputy Leader of the Council with responsibility for Strategic Planning and Economic Development, taking on extra responsibility for Economic Development and Business Liaison.

* Cllr Mark Booty joins the Cabinet as Member for Change and Improvement, covering areas such as Improved Two-Tier Working, Partnership Arrangements, Performance Management and the Efficiency Agenda.

* Cllr Jill Dunsmore is new to the Cabinet as Member for Communities, with responsibility for issues such as Community Development and Grants, Support to the Voluntary Sector, Community Safety, Crime and Disorder, Police liaison, Housing and Homelessness, and Affordable Housing Provision.

* Cllr David Harvey will continue as Cabinet Member for Environment, covering all aspects of waste and recycling collections, Environmental Enforcement, climate change and energy advice, as well as additional responsibility for Licensing.

* Cllr Hilary Biles becomes Cabinet Member for Leisure and Health, covering Sports, Leisure, Arts Development, Tourism, Community and Public Health, and Supporting People. She will also act as Champion for Young and Elderly Persons.
Simon Hoare joins the Cabinet as Member for Resources, including Finance and Management, Customer Services, IT Services, Project Management and Asset Management.

Cllr Norton paid tribute to Cllr Tony Walker who had stepped down from the Cabinet as portfolio holder for Leisure and Tourism. He thanked him for his work during his time in office which had included overseeing the opening of new leisure centres in Carterton and in Chipping Norton.

Cllr Roger Curry was also elected as Chairman of the Council at the meeting, replacing Cllr Keith Stone, who sadly died in April. Cllr Derek Cotterill was elected as Vice Chairman.

Speaking after his appointment as Chairman of the Council, Cllr Curry said: “I promise to best represent this Council at the civic events I attend and to be a fair, friendly and effective Chairman over the next 12 months.”

New Members were also welcomed to the Council and Membership of Council Committees and Sub-Committees was also decided at the meeting.

Posted : 18/05/2007 01:44:17

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