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Cabinet changes at Vale of White Horse District Council

At the annual council meeting of Vale of White Horse District Council last night (18 May), the council Leader, Emily Smith, announced a number of changes to the existing council cabinet.

Firstly, Councillor Catherine Webber stepped down as Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency and Environment.

Cllr Sally Povolotsky, who was recently elected to the council after a by-election at the Steventon and Hanneys ward, has become the new Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency and Environment.

Cllr Catherine Webber and Cllr Sally Povolotsky

Cllr Smith said: “I would like to thank Cllr Webber for all her work at the cabinet. She has decided to step down from cabinet to spend more time with her increasing number of grandchildren and focus on her ward work in Marcham.

“Cllr Webber was this council’s first cabinet member with a remit focused on tackling the climate emergency and has successfully worked tirelessly to ensure the climate agenda is embedded in all this council does.”

Cllr Povolotsky said: “I am delighted to be joining the cabinet with responsibility for the Climate Emergency and Environment. Tackling the climate emergency is at my core.

“Bringing my knowledge and experience as a sustainability engineer to the council to progress the work already done and to accelerate our key priority areas to protect our natural environment, create healthier and safer communities and ensure resilience planning is a key action for this council.”

Other changes to the cabinet portfolios which also took effect from 18 May.

  • Cllr Neil Fawcett taking on responsibility for Economic Development
  • Cllr Bethia Thomas taking on responsibility for Customer Services
  • Cllr Judy Roberts taking on responsibility for Major Planning Applications and Strategic Sites
  • Cllr Debby Hallett taking on responsibility for Democratic Services

The updated list of cabinet members and responsibilities is outlined below:

Councillor Emily Smith – Leader of the Council

Councillor Bethia Thomas – Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member Community Engagement:

  • Lead on Corporate Plan themes “Working in Partnership” and “Working in an Open and Inclusive Way”
  • Planning applications and enforcement
  • Communication, Community Engagement and Consultation
  • Customer Service and Complaints
  • Community Grants

Councillor Andrew Crawford – Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Assets:

  • Lead on Corporate Plan theme “Building Stable Finances”
  • Finance and Investments
  • Council owned Property
  • Parks and Grounds maintenance
  • Council Tax and Benefits
  • Car parks and toilets

Councillor Neil Fawcett – Cabinet Member for Strategic Partnerships and Place:

  • Regional and national partnerships, including:
    • Future Oxfordshire Partnership
    • OxLEP and Enterprise Zones
    • Shared Services Contract
    • Oxford – Cambridge Arc
  • Support for Local Businesses
  • Economic Development

Councillor Debby Hallett – Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Transformation:

  • Human Resources and IT
  • Planning Policy – Including the Vale’s Local Plan
  • Information governance
  • Corporate Policy and Programmes
  • Legal and Contracts
  • Democratic Services

Councillor Helen Pighills – Cabinet Member for Healthy Communities:

  • Lead on Corporate plan theme “Building Healthy Communities”
  • Housing and Homelessness
  • Active Communities and Leisure
  • Community Safety
  • Licensing
  • Community and Arts Centres
  • Community response and support

Councillor Judy Roberts – Cabinet Member for Development and Infrastructure:

  • Lead on corporate plan theme “Providing the Homes People need”
  • Housing Delivery
  • Infrastructure and developer contributions
  • Didcot Garden Town
  • Dalton Barracks Garden Village
  • Major Planning Applications and Strategic Sites
  • Mobile Home Parks

Cllr Sally Povolotsky – Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency and Environment:

  • Lead on Corporate plan theme “Tackling the Climate Emergency”
  • Waste and Recycling
  • Environmental Protection
  • Air quality
  • Food Safety
  • Climate Emergency Action Planning