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New Labour Cabinet posts at Southampton City Council
11:40am Wednesday 16th May 2012 in Politics
Councillor Richard Williams, 54, was, in his first act, set to create two more Cabinets posts and two new committees – adding nearly £28,000 to the councillor allowance bill at the cash-strapped authority.
Labour will take full control of the council for the first time since 1999 after an election landslide that swept aside the Tories after four years in power.
Socialists and anti-cuts campaigners will lobby the annual meeting of the council this afternoon to call on Labour to refuse to implement Government imposed budget cuts.
The council faces a £46m budget deficit over the next two years, despite records savings made in recent years.
Cllr Williams was expected to appoint an eight strong Cabinet to run civic affairs in the city for the next two years.
The new-look Cabinet, agreed behind closed doors on Monday night, will see deputy leader Jacqui Rayment, head of the Hampshire Police Authority, take on a new communities portfolio.
Cllr Keith Morrell, an accountant, will be given a new role of overseeing “efficiency and improvement”.
Councillor Simon Letts, a science teacher now in his third stint as a councillor, will take charge of the council’s finances.
Councillor Asa Thorpe, a performance manage at Hampshire Constabulary elected to the council last year, will become environment and transport chief.
The adult services portfolio will go to Councillor Matt Sevens, another teacher.
Councillor Sarah Bogle, a strategic development programme manager at Solent University, will be responsible for children’s services in the city.
And Councillor Warwick Payne, a journalist, will become Cabinet member for leisure and housing.
The new Cabinet posts will each attract allowances of around £22,000.
Cllr Williams, will receive a £33,000 allowance as leader, and will also oversee economic development in the city to turn election pledges of more jobs and growth into reality. He will also create two new scrutiny committees with chairmen getting an extra £2,800 on top of their basic £11,000 allowances.
The Conservatives had trimmed down the council’s Cabinet from ten to six posts as the economic downturn deepened.