Revamped Barnet Council cabinet will push through easyCouncil plans

Times Series: Cllr Lynne Hillan Cllr Lynne Hillan

THE leader of Barnet Council has pledged to “drive forward the Future Shape agenda” after naming her reshuffled inner circle at a meeting last night.

Councillor Lynne Hillan has been forced into the cabinet reshuffle after Daniel Webb, who looked after policy and performance, lost his Underhill seat by just 20 votes at the local elections.

The revamped executive retains many of the old faces selected following Cllr Hillan's selection as council leader in December, after the resignation of Mike Freer.

However, Cllr Hillan takes over responsibility for communication and strategy, passing on the resources portfolio.

She said: “Barnet is a fantastic place to live and I want to make it even better. I will drive forward the Future Shape agenda, making the Council more responsive to what our customers need and ensuring that residents get better services with less money.

“I want local people to be at the heart of everything we do. With the current tough economic climate there will be many difficult decisions to make in the months and years ahead.

“I'm confident with my new team we will be able to guide the council through this challenging period and make sure that the borough emerges even stronger than before."

Councillor Brian Coleman has been brought back into the fold after his year as Mayor, taking the environment and transport portfolio from Councillor Daniel Thomas who has been shifted to resources and performance.

The London Assembly member said his priority would be “roads, roads, roads and roads", while Cllr Thomas admitted “there will be some tough choices ahead” but pledged to achieve value for money.

There have also been changes to some of the job titles, with Cllr Melvin Cohen taking on a new role of governance and civic affairs.

He said: “I will be looking into the various component parts contained within the portfolio to ascertain whether the borough is getting best value for money and if not how matters may be improved."

Cllr Robert Rams has been handed a newly titled job of customer access and partnerships instead of investment and learning, but pledged to make Barnet “the most innovative and forward thinking” London borough.

The housing and regeneration portfolio held by Cllr Richard Cornelius will now include responsibility for planning matters Both Councillors Sachin Rajput and Joanna Tambourides hold on to their old portfolios of Adult services and community safety, while deputy leader Cllr Andrew Harper sees schools added to his job title.

The new appointments were approved at the Annual Council meeting last night.

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