Cabinet and administration policy changes announced by city council leader

Like councils all across the UK, Peterborough seeks to deliver high quality services against the backdrop of one of the most challenging periods of local government– with rising demand and reduced external funding.  

At the annual meeting of Peterborough City Council today (Monday 20 May), the Leader, Councillor John Holdich, announced how his administration will steer a path which allows the council to meet that challenge, not just in the coming months but for the longer term.

He set out a revised set of Cabinet portfolios with priorities designed not only to reflect a forensic and determined focus on Peterborough City Council’s financial strategy, income generation and transformation, but also on innovation in services and focusing on what residents say is important to them.

  • Councillor Wayne Fitzgerald retains the role as Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Health with the addition of public health. In the last year he has overseen effective work in managing demand, which has seen hospital discharge, social care delays in Peterborough remain amongst the lowest level in the country.

  • Councillor David Seaton remains as Cabinet Member for Finance. Over the last few years, the council, under his leadership, has been able to deliver a balanced budget against every growing rise in demand but with a need to close the gap of £23 million, his portfolio has been revised to focus solely on financial strategy and resource planning.  A Member working group will be established to support him.

  • Councillor Peter Hiller remains on the Cabinet with a role change, as Member for Strategic PlanningCommercial Strategy and Investment. Building on the successful completion of the council’s local plan and the completion of highways and public realm improvements last year, his portfolio fits with an unrelenting focus to tackle the city council's financial challenges and to develop more investment opportunities.

  • Councillor Mohammed Farooq joins the Cabinet for the first time, taking over the portfolio for Digital Services and Transformation, responsible for the council’s information and technology strategy and the digital transformation of the council.

  • Councillor Lynne Ayres takes on the Cabinet portfolio for Children Services, Education, Skills and the University, with Councillor Shazia Bashir as a Cabinet Adviser for Children's Services. Their work will building on last year’s success under the leadership of Cllr Sam Smith which saw Children Services receive a 'good' rating from Ofsted, increased funding for Family Safeguarding, above average ‘A’ level passes and Key Stage 2 outcomes rising steadily and an increased number of children who received their first preference for a school place at both primary and secondary level.

  • Councillor Irene Walsh remains as Cabinet Member for Communities – marking a successful term which saw the council attract £1.6m of additional government funding as one of only six areas nationally working on ambitious plans to integrate communities which continues with the Think Communities programme that she will champion.

  • Councillor Marco Cereste will be the Cabinet Member for Waste, Street Scene and the Environment. Last year Cllr Cereste successfully led the launch of the council's new trading company, Aragon Direct Services, giving the council greater control over those services that really matter to most residents like street cleaning, grass cutting and bin collections – and will be looking at how more services can be transferred into the new company. He also takes on responsibility for the council’s environment strategy, helping the council focus on the growing issue of climate change.

  • Councillor Steve Allen becomes the new Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Recreation. Homelessness and rough sleeping is an absolute priority of this administration, and so his portfolio has been expanded to give a focus to this.  Cllr Allen also retains responsibility, for ensuring that arts, culture and recreation thrive in this city, which was part of his previous role as a Cabinet Advisor.

Cllr Holdich expressed his gratitude to Councillor Diane Lamb and former Councillors Howard Fuller and Sam Smith who have left the Cabinet, paying tribute to their tireless work in their respective areas, and offering the thanks of the entire council.  

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