THE POLITICAL head of Coventry Council’s children services has been axed in a cabinet reshuffle.
Coun George Duggins has been replaced with former housing chief Coun Ed Ruane as the under-fire department – rated inadequate by Ofsted – has its third separate cabinet member in just over 12 months.
Coun Duggins had been deputy to former leader John Mutton but was bumped into the position by her replacement Coun Ann Lucas, who confirmed the further changes yesterday (Thursday).
Ofsted had slammed the department’s leadership but added the new management team – headed by Coun Duggins and director Brian Walsh – had started to tackle key issues in the service.
Coun Duggins was thanked for doing a ‘difficult role in difficult times’ by Coun Lucas, who said his service should be recognised.
But she added ‘robust political leadership’ was needed and that Coun Ruane would do an outstanding job.
Other outgoing cabinet members include Coun Lynnette Kelly, as reported by the Observer this week.
She had been expected to lose the role as she focuses her efforts on becoming an MP in Labour-target seat Warwick and Leamington.
Coun Kevin Maton – who had chaired the planning committee – takes on the position, which now includes housing. Coun John McNicholas will be his deputy with responsibility for transport.
Coun Abdul Khan’s role now includes culture, leisure, sports, parks and events after his previous position for energy and environment was deleted.
Coun Faye Abbot joins the cabinet for the first time in a new role responsible for community development, co-operatives and social enterprise. She will also lead on Coventry’s bid to be named a city of culture.
Coventry City Council’s Cabinet
Ann Lucas – Council Leader
Phil Townshend – Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Policing and Equalities
David Kershaw CBE – Education
Rachel Lancaster – Public Services
Damian Gannon – Strategic Finance and Resources
Alison Gingell – Health and Adult Services
Ed Ruane – Children’s Services
Kevin Maton – Business, Enterprise and Employment
Abdul Khan – Culture, Leisure, Sports
John McNicholas – Transport
Faye Abbot – Community development, co-operatives and social enterprise