Senior district council cabinet position scrapped

PUBLISHED: 13:07 18 October 2019 | UPDATED: 13:59 21 October 2019

Paul Millar is tabling a motion to change East Devon District Council's constitution. Picture: Paul Millar/Archant

Paul Millar is tabling a motion to change East Devon District Council's constitution. Picture: Paul Millar/Archant


A senior position on East Devon District Council has been axed months after a former cabinet member was sacked from the position.

The cabinet selected by the ruling Independent Group consisted of ten members, but the 'transformation' portfolio has been vacant since Councillor Paul Millar was removed from the post last month.

He subsequently quit the Independent Group, which has control of the council.

A report to the full council meeting, taking place on Wednesday (October 23) confirms that Cllr Ben Ingham, leader of the council, has decided not to replace the transformation portfolio holder position in his cabinet.

No reason for the decision is stated in the papers ahead of the meeting.

The cabinet will collectively take on responsibility for delivery of the 'transformation' plan and the associated strategies referred to as 'fit for purpose', 'careful choices' and 'commercialisation of services'.

Cllr Millar said: "I am pleased the role has been scrapped. There seems to be all of these financial-related positions that over lap with each other.

"Clearly the leader thinks I'm irreplaceable or the transformation portfolio was a poisoned chalice."

The report says that Cllr Jess Bailey, corporate services portfolio holder, will take on responsibility for 'digital by design' and 'systems thinking', while Cllr Geoff Pook, asset management portfolio holder, will now be responsible for 'revenue generation', which has become 'commercialisation of assets'.

The meeting on Wednesday will see changes made to committee membership as a result of the political balance of the council changes following Cllr Millar's resignation from the Independent Group.

The council now consists of 19 members in the Independent Group, 19 Conservatives, 11 from the East Devon Alliance, eight Liberal Democrats, two Green Party members, and one Independent, Cllr Millar.

Sitting as an Independent, he is entitled to two committee seats (a proportional share). The full council is recommended to approve a proposal that would see the ruling Independent Group lose a seat on both the overview committee and the licensing and enforcement committee.

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