Merton Council this week agreed changes to its cabinet to fit around the evolving needs and concerns of its residents.
The new line up was agreed by full council on Wednesday which means that from this week a number of councillors will take on different responsibilities.
The main changes include the introduction of a new portfolio focusing on ‘change management and performance’, which has been created to build on the council’s commitment to offering the best services for residents following its recent 4 star rating from the Audit Commission. The new portfolio will concentrate on driving forward the ‘Transformation Programme’ which is designed to make the council a more efficient organisation that continues to offer residents and council taxpayers high quality customer service at a price that residents can afford. Councillor Samantha George will be leading on this area as well as staying as deputy leader.
Councillor David Williams remains Leader of the council and there are still nine members of the cabinet in total, as well as two assistant cabinet members, but other changes have also been made.
Community safety and engagement is a key concern for residents. Following Councillor Tariq Ahmad’s decision to leave the cabinet owing to other commitments, this area will now be looked after by a new cabinet member, Councillor Henry Nelless, who will focus on tackling both crime itself and the fear of crime. Councillor Tariq Ahmad will continue to contribute his expertise in the area of community cohesion as an assistant cabinet member.
Another key change is the linking of finance and regeneration in the portfolio held by Councillor Diane Neil Mills – particularly important in the current challenging economic circumstances.
Councillor David Williams, Leader of Merton Council said:
“Putting residents’ needs first is our goal and so the cabinet has to continually evolve to proactively respond to the challenges Merton faces and to deliver our clear vision for the future.
“The council faces a tough time financially over the coming years and the focus of cabinet needs to reflect this. The new line up will ensure we are well equipped to tackle these issues whilst continuing to meet the needs of our residents by providing high quality services.”
A full list of cabinet member names and portfolios can be found on the website: http://www.merton.gov.uk/cabinet