John Whitehouse

Retired County Councillor for Kenilworth Abbey Division Learn more

County Cabinet Changes

by John Whitehouse on 14 May, 2008

At the Annual Meeting of the County Council yesterday, the Conservative leader announced a number of changes to his Cabinet, to serve for the next year and until the county elections in May 2009.

The most striking change was the removal of a Cabinet member specifically for Schools, with these responsibilities now being subsumed entirely within the much broader responsibilities of a single Cabinet member for Children Young People and Families.

While understanding the statutory requirement for a single lead member with Executive responsibility for Children, Young People and Families, I do not see why the Schools portfolio could not have been retained in a separate but subservient position – there are precedents in national government for this. Certainly the change could reinforce the view of many people in the Warwickshire education world that the focus on schools has been diluted in the move towards more integrated working with Children’s Social Services.

The new Cabinet seems to me to be even more unbalanced, with the two members for Adult Services and Children Services respectively responsible for the vast proportion of the County’s expenditure, while the other eight Cabinet members cover a variety of other roles, some better defined than others.

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