BREAKING NEWS: Cabinet member in charge of guided bus quits Cabinet but it’s promotion for Wisbech pair
THE Cabinet member at Shire Hall, Cambridge, in charge of the guided bus as well as highways and the environment has quit Nick Clarke’s Cabinet.
But it means a Cabinet job- and for the first time- to Councillor Steve Tierney from Wisbech and promotion for a second Wisbech councillor, Sam Hoy.
“Today Steve Criswell let me know that he is unable to continue in Cabinet, for personal reasons,” Cllr Clarke told colleagues.
“He has found it very difficult to manage a Cabinet position whilst at the same time earning a crust.
“Steve has been an extremely good Cabinet member who has contributed lots to our debates and has been very effective in managing his brief. I shall miss him in Cabinet.”
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Once the changes take affect- which will be from 8pm tonight- it will be the third Cabinet member to leave within the year with Cllr Clarke publicly blaming the lack of remuneration as a principal treason for people leaving.
Last year he lost his finance portfolio holder Linda Oliver and also Catherine Hutton, who had been in charge of adult social care.
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Today’s bombshell announcement was accompanied with a “sadly it seems change is in the air” heading on an email to Conservative councillors.
Councillor Tony Orgee is to take on Cllr Criswell’s Community Infrastructure brief “and a result Steve Tierney is promoted into Cabinet looking after Health and Wellbeing. These changes take immediate effect.
“Richard West will step up to chair the Safer and Stronger scrutiny Committee and Sam Hoy will be the deputy. The scrutiny positions will need full council approval.”
Last year Cllr Clarke bemoaned the loss of Cabinet members “with allowances playing a significant part in those decisions.
“Both females, who are under represented, both very able. I am also aware of another female, also extremely able, who will not be standing for election in 18 months time because of her financial situation.
“If the public is to be represented effectively it needs councillors of calibre and I am afraid money is part of it. The purists may disagree but it is the real world we live in. Most people work 37 hours a week for a full time salary. “Cabinet members work many more hours than that for a part time allowance”
He added that what Cambridgeshire needed was “high calibre councillors, high calibre services.”
Councillors have recently voted to freeze allowances following an earlier bid increase them by 25 per cent failed.