New faces in Wakefield Council Cabinet after reshuffle

Coun Faith Heptinstall is the new Cabinet member for adults and health.
Coun Faith Heptinstall is the new Cabinet member for adults and health.

A new Cabinet post looking specifically at skills and jobs in the Wakefield district has been created by the local council.

The authority has highlighted jobs as a "key" area, following the publication of a report last year that said a third of the area's workforce was under threat from the rise of robotics.

South Elmsall and South Kirkby councillor Michelle Collins has been appointed as Coun Graham's deputy.

South Elmsall and South Kirkby councillor Michelle Collins has been appointed as Coun Graham's deputy.

The council says the post will help oversee its ambition to increase skill levels across the district, as it looks to mitigate the impact new technology will have on the jobs market.

Councillor Michael Graham, who was returned to his council seat in Wakefield West at the local elections earlier this month, will be the first person to hold the role.

Coun Graham had previously been deputising for the Cabinet member for corporate services, Coun Les Shaw, who was forced off work with a broken hip earlier this year.

Elsewhere, Coun Faith Heptinstall, who represents the Crofton, Ryhill and Walton ward has become the new portfolio holder for health.

She replaces Pat Garbutt, who stepped down this month as she recovers from an operation.

There's three new faces in the deputy Cabinet positions, with councillors Michelle Collins, Ros Lund and David Dagger all brought in. The rest of the frontbench remains unchanged.

The new-look Cabinet will be officially approved at next week's mayor-making annual council meeting.

Council leader Peter Box said: "I would like to welcome all the new members joining the Cabinet team.

"The challenging times continue but I am confident that the knowledge, enthusiasm and experience this team brings will serve the district and our residents very well.

"The new Cabinet role will drive our ambition to help grow skill levels and reduce inequalities so that more of our residents can enjoy a good quality of life and I am confident that Coun Graham will be an effective lead in this new role."

Full Cabinet for 2019/2020

Leader – Peter Box
Economic Growth and Regeneration (Deputy Leader) – Denise Jeffery
Transport and Highways – Matthew Morley
Culture, Leisure and Sport – Jacquie Speight
Adults and Health – Faith Heptinstall
Children and Young People – Margaret Isherwood
Environment and Communities – Maureen Cummings
Corporate Services – Les Shaw
Skills and Employment – Michael Graham

The proposed deputy Cabinet members are as follows:

Economic Growth and Regeneration – Darren Byford
Transport and Highways – Jessica Carrington
Culture, Leisure and Sport – Lynn Masterman
Adults and Health – Ros Lund
Children and Young People – Richard Forster
Environment and Communities – Martyn Ward
Corporate Services – David Dagger
Skills and Employment – Michelle Collins

Local Democracy Reporting Service