COVENTRY City Council has announced a cabinet shake-up for the coming year – and a new Lord Mayor is to be sworn in next week.
Two of the 10 posts on the cabinet will see new faces as the ruling Labour group prepares for the “opportunities and challenges ahead”.
Councillor John Blundell will be sworn in as Coventry’s next Lord Mayor at a ceremony in the cathedral next Thursday (May 17).
Cabinet member for community development, Coun Linda Bigham, is leaving her role to become Deputy Lord Mayor for the coming year in preparation for her appointment as Lord Mayor for 2019-20.
Her position will be filled by Coun Ed Ruane, who will be moving from his post as cabinet member for children and young people.
Coun Ruane’s portfolio will change to his new role of cabinet member for housing and communities.
The responsibility for the city council’s work around UK City of Culture 2021 will now move from Coun Bigham’s post to that of council leader Coun George Duggins.
The new cabinet member for children and young people will be Coun Pat Seaman, who has previously been deputy cabinet member of the portfolio and is currently a member of the education and children’s services scrutiny board.
Coun Blundell, Lord Mayor elect said: “I am really looking forward to serving Coventry in a greater capacity as Lord Mayor at such an exciting time in the run up to City of Culture. Coventry has been hiding its light under a bushel for far too long and I’m pleased that we are starting to get the recognition we deserve.
“I have chosen to support two smaller local charities, one of them being a cause I relate to.
“The Haemochromatosis Society which helps people cope with blood disorders, something I suffer from and The Enterprise Club – a local charity that provides recreation and fellowship for all Coventry people with a disability.”
Leader Coun Duggins, on the cabinet shake-up, said: “Linda and Ed have both done fantastic work for the city in their respective roles.
“Now Linda is to become Deputy Lord Mayor at a very important time for the city and we wish her well in that role.
“We are taking the opportunity to change her current post slightly and we know Ed will continue the good work in that area having dealt with housing in the past.
“With Pat taking on the important role of cabinet member for children and young people and joining our other experienced cabinet members, we have a dedicated and talented team in place that is committed to providing quality governance and services to the people of Coventry.
“These are very exciting times for our city but also very tough times for local authorities, with government cuts and shrinking budgets. These changes will make sure we are ready to face the challenges and opportunities ahead.”
All of the changes will come into effect at Coventry council’s annual meeting on Thursday May 17.