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Cabinet Reshuffle Sept 2010

Cabinet Shuffle September 2101Following hard on the heels of an announcement that the Commissar's White Elephant New Town Hall Scheme has been dropped, and the existing town hall will be refurbished (more to follow on this for our readers shortly), news has just been announced of a re-shuffle of Fylde's Cabinet.

In a press release issued today, Cllr Roger Small is standing down as deputy Leader and being replaced by Cllr Susan Fazackerley who retains her portfolio for Leisure and Culture.

That probably means a coincidental lift in the status and perhaps fortunes of leisure.

 With an election looming, having a high priority for visible public services like leisure is important to the prospects for being re-elected. We've had our 'issues' (as they say) with Cllr Fazackerley over the years, but she is one of the more experienced and intelligent Councillors and mostly has an instinctive understanding of what's right for the area. She's probably a good choice as deputy Leader, and certainly a safe pair of hands.

It's not clear from the press release whether Cllr Small is standing down from the Cabinet altogether. It only notes he is relinquishing the deputy leadership.

It goes on to quote Council Leader David Eaves as saying "Roger has done great work for the council during his five years as deputy leader and is stepping down due to heavy work commitments as a headteacher in the Preston area", so it's possible he is going altogether. Perhaps his close ties to the Commissar and his initial bad judgement on the matter of the Growth Point Scheme have also influenced the decision.

Other changes include a first-time entry into the Cabinet for Freckleton's Cllr Tommy Threlfall who - at least for now - is taking up the portfolio for 'Partnerships and Community Engagement' previously held By Princess Karen Buckley. We know he's keen on green issues and we wouldn't be surprised to find a new Cabinet role appearing for him in the future in the areas of environmental protection and sustainability.

Princess Karen meanwhile is taking on Small's Finance brief, and relinquishing her briefs for 'Partnerships and Community Engagement' to Cllr Threlfall

She's very good at advocacy and is usually well able to assimilate the arguments she needs to make, but she's short of experience in Local Authority finance matters and we don't know how well she will perform 'behind the scenes'.

Last time someone with limited experience of Finance was the Portfolio Holder we had the Streetscene debacle, so we hope we're not heading into that territory again.

The Cabinet member whose name is not mentioned at all is Cllr Albert Pounder. That might be because there's no change for him and he will stay as Portfolio Holder with the brief for 'Environmental Wellbeing' including waste management, environmental quality, car parking and coastal defences. On the other hand the lack of a mention might mean he's due to be replaced by Cllr Threlfall.

We'll bring you more as the change unfolds.

Dated:  7 September 2010


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