Merton Council Cabinet Re-Shuffle At AGM

Tory Shadow Cabinet also unveiled

Two new appointments to Merton council's cabinet were made at the council's AGM on Wednesday (May 16).

Councillor Martin Whelton is the new Cabinet Member for Education and Councillor Nick Draper has replaced him as Cabinet Member for Community and Culture.

Councillor Maxi Martin, who had been looking after the education role, following the dismissal of Councillor Peter Walker, will continue with her Children's Services post.

Council leader, Stephen Alambritis, said: "Martin Whelton has done great work as the cabinet member in charge of libraries.  Despite deep cuts from this government he has managed to keep all our libraries open and has even increased opening hours.

"As the new Cabinet Member for Education I know he will tackle the challenges we face in expanding our best schools to create places for the increasing number of school age children in the borough.

"I'm also delighted that Nick Draper will be Cabinet Member for Community and Culture. He’ll take over libraries, housing, leisure and culture.  He is a big supporter of his local library in Colliers Wood so I know he will do everything he can to make our libraries even more efficient. "

Councillor Whelton said: "I intend to build on the Labour administration's work to date. We have a strong policy of ensuring all our children have a place at a good local school.  I will continue to work to expand the best performing schools so all our children have a good start in life."

Councillor Nick Draper, said: "Im a volunteer at my local library in Colliers Wood so I know how important libraries are to local people.  New technology has helped Merton Labour to keep all our libraries open and in fact we have increased opening hours overall. I'm looking forward to continuing to ensure we have one of the best library services in the country, while also ensuring our leisure services are accessible to all our residents."

The full list of Cabinet appointments is as follows:

  • Leader – Stephen Alambritis
  • Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Performance and Implementation – Mark Betteridge
  • Finance – Mark Allison
  • Community Safety, Engagement and Equalities – Edith Macauley
  • Children's Services – Maxi Martin
  • Education – Martin Whelton
  • Community and Culture – Nick Draper
  • Adult Social Care and Health – Linda Kirby
  • Environmental Sustainability and Regeneration – Andrew Judge.

The Conservative opposition have unveiled the following Shadow Cabinet. It  is enlarged and sees some new faces join the frontbench, as well as some changes of portfolio:

  • Debbie Shears – Leader of the Opposition (and lead on Transparency)
  • Henry Nelless - Deputy Leader and Shadow Cabinet Member for Performance
  • Suzanne Grocott - Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance
  • Oonagh Moulton - Shadow Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Care
  • Simon Withey - Shadow Cabinet Member for Young People
  • Krystal Miller - Shadow Cabinet Member for Community Engagement
  • David Simpson - Shadow Cabinet Member for Crime Prevention
  • Richard Hilton - Shadow Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport
  • Chris Edge - Shadow Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration
  • Suzanne Evans - Shadow Cabinet Member for Health and Older People
  • Samantha George - Shadow Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure

Councillor Debbie Shears said: "The next two years will be a crucial time for Merton’s Conservative councillors as we approach the 2014 local elections. It is our responsibility to show Merton’s residents, over the course of the next couple of years, how a Conservative-led Merton Council could deliver better services for less cost.

"With my Shadow Cabinet colleagues, and the whole of the Conservative Group, we intend to set out this vision so that in 2014 we can take control of the Council and start delivering the necessary changes which we all want to see."

May 18, 2012

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