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Fresh blood for council committees

Portfolios have been allocated to members of the Hastings Borough Council Cabinet and the new make-up of committees decided. Some newly elected councillors have found themselves with several committee appointments. ESCC Green councillor Julia Hilton has a place on the pensions committee. Nick Terdre reports.

Important decisions were rubber-stamped and made public at Hastings Borough Council’s annual and full council meeting last week, including the official announcement of the names of the new mayor and deputy, Cllrs James Bacon and Ruby Cox respectively.

The names of the seven Cabinet members were already known, but portfolios have now been allocated. Council leader Kim Forward is responsible for strategy and partnership working and deputy leader Paul Barnett, new to the Cabinet, takes on the regeneration portfolio.

Peter Chowney retains the financial portfolio, Andy Batsford housing and Maya Evans environment, while Judy Rogers has organisation. Cllr Trevor Webb, another newcomer, has been given the chair of the Charity Committee, and thus responsibility for the Foreshore Trust.

Committee roles for rookies

Some rookie councillors have been appointed to committees, notably the important Overview and Scrutiny Committee, which includes newly elected Ali Roark, Sabina Arthur and Claire Carr, Labour, and Tory Lucian Fernando among its members, as well as Tory Peter Pragnell, returning to HBC after an absence of several years.

The committee is chaired by Labour’s Andrew Battley, leader of the Tory group Andy Patmore is the vice chair, and other members are Sue Beaney, Heather Bishop and Mike Turner, all Labour, and Tory Mike Edwards.

Two newly elected councillors are on the planning committee, which of late has shown an interesting tendency not to take officers’ recommendations for granted – Roark and Conservative Graeme Williams, who won the seat held by the previous Tory leader Rob Lee.

The committee continues to be chaired by Alan Roberts, with Ruby Cox as vice chair, along with Labour colleagues Bacon, Bishop and Phil Scott, while the other Tory members are Sorrell Marlow-Eastwood, Paul Foster and Matthew Beaver.

ESCC roles for Hilton

Nothing according to the rules for Julia Hilton, who stands in solitary splendour as the Greens’ first ever HBC councillor, but as one of a group of the first four Greens to be elected to East Sussex County Council Hilton has been allocated a couple of committee seats, on the pensions and place scrutiny committees.

Pensions continues to be chaired by Tory Gerard Fox, who along with party colleagues Sam Adeniji and Paul Redstone are expected to resist calls from the other two members, the Liberal Democrats’ David Tutt and Hilton for pension funds to be divested from fossil fuel companies.


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Posted 16:53 Thursday, May 27, 2021 In: Politics

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