North Hertfordshire District Council chairman and cabinet members appointed
- Credit: Archant
Three changes to a district council’s cabinet have been made last night (Thursday) as a new chairman took up the reigns.
Tricia Cowley took over as chairman of North Herts District Council (NHDC) at a meeting of full council held at its offices in Letchworth GC.
Cllr Cowley, who had been serving as vice-chairman of NHDC for the past year, replaces Jane Gray in the role, with Ray Shakespeare-Smith appointed as vice-chairman.
In NHDC’s Conservative-controlled cabinet, Cllr Gray takes over from Ian Knighton as portfolio holder for leisure.
David Levett will be responsible for planning and enterprise, formerly the portfolio of Tom Brindley – who was deselected by the Conservatives prior to last month’s election.
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Cllr Levett’s previous portfolio – now called policy, transport and green issues – has gone to Cllr Julian Cunningham.
The rest of the cabinet, including Lynda Needham as leader, remains the same.
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There was controversy over the appointment of the Hitchin area committee chairman with Conservative David Leal-Bennett voted in with the help of Labour councillors. He subsequently chose Deborah Segalini (Lab) as his vice-chairman.
Letchworth area committee’s new chairman is Lorna Kercher (Lab), who replaces Conservative John Booth. Claire Billing (Lab) was selected as vice-chairman, formerly Cllr Cunningham (Con).
Michael Weeks (Con) was elected as chairman of the Baldock area committee, taking over from Cllr Knighton. Fellow Conservative John Harris steps into Cllr Weeks’ vice-chairman position.
Speaking on the night of her appointment as chairman, Cllr Cowley said: “I will enjoy the year and do my best to fulfil it as best as I can. I am not sure if I will reach the dizzying heights of Cllr Gray’s fundraising abilities but I will try to match them.”
After stepping down from the role, Cllr Gray presented a cheque for £8,120 to her charity of the year – Crossroads Care Hertfordshire North.
Cllr Cowley’s chosen charity of the year is Pro-Action Herts, which provides training opportunities for young people and adults.