Labour councillors have allowances slashed to make way for three new roles on city cabinet
Preston's new Labour cabinet was confirmed yesterday with three new roles introduced - but councillors have seen their member allowances cut to afford them.
The new roles as cabinet members for climate change, health and wellbeing and service transformation were introduced to Preston's council due to the "economic disparities made obvious by the Covid-19 pandemic".
Expanding from seven posts to 10, city residents won't be footing the bill, with the member allowances of leader Coun Brown and other cabinet members slashed to cover the costs of the new posts.
Councillors Carol Henshaw and Jennifer Mein have been elected as the new cabinet members for Climate Change and Health and Wellbeing, with Coun Salim Desai elected as the member for Service transformation.
And Cabinet member for resources Coun Martyn Rawlison has also taken on the new role as deputy leader of the council, a position previously held by Coun Peter Moss.
Speaking of the changes and what they now mean for the future of Preston, Coun Rawlinson said: "The Climate crisis and the health crisis, in light of economic disparities made obvious by the Covid pandemic, have highlighted the need for enhanced political leadership at Preston Council on these issues.
"Therefore, Preston Labour Group have elected Councillors Carol Henshaw and Jennifer Mein as the new Cabinet Members for Climate Change and Health and Well-being to lead on these issues both within the council and externally with our many statutory, charity, voluntary and private sector partners.
"Similarly, the digital agenda runs through all service delivery and policymaking at Preston Council and Preston Labour group feel that a Cabinet Member for Service Transformation would be an ideal way to maximise the benefits of a modern digital strategy. Councillor Salim Desai has been elected to this role for the coming year.
"All the new Cabinet Members have demonstrated to the Labour group their interest and abilities in these fields and we are confident that they will develop these new portfolios into valuable drivers for change and improvement within the council and beyond.
"There is much work to be done but the wider distribution of these many tasks is vital for members to manage their work lives and personal lives alongside their political vocations.
"These new positions also allow us to improve the diversity of council decision making with these positions going to members of underrepresented groups of women and BAME communities."
Previous deputy leader and cabinet member for Planning and Regulation Peter Moss made the decision to step down from the cabinet for 'personal reasons', with the previous Mayor Coun David Borrow now filling the role.
Speaking to the Post, Coun Rawlinson hailed the next 12 months as being 'pivotal' for the city of Preston, adding: "Preston Labour have a transformative agenda for Preston that will reach every corner of the city. We encourage external investment in our city, bid for any government funding available and operate our unique local economic strategy the Preston Model.
"The next 12 months are pivotal for Preston as we deliver millions of pounds of Covid recovery projects, accelerate delayed projects like the Community Bank and municipally-owned Cinema scheme and work with our Anchor institutions to tackle endemic health inequalities and social barriers to better employment.
"The climate crisis and digital agendas are threaded through all these issues, as are equality of opportunity for all our communities and these will remain at the forefront of our minds."
Find out more on the Preston Council Website.
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