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New faces for refreshed Devon County Council Cabinet

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Devon County Council leader John Hart has refreshed his ruling Cabinet following last month’s election victory.

Mr Hart, who represents Bickleigh and Wembury, was re-elected leader of the council at today’s annual meeting. He will retain responsibility for policy, property and corporate matters and will chair the Cabinet.

Hatherleigh and Chagford councillor James McInnes was re-elected as deputy leader of the council. He and Exeter councillor, Andrew Leadbetter, will swap jobs in the re-allocation of posts.

Mr McInnes, who has been Cabinet member for children’s services and schools for almost eight years will take responsibility for adult social care and health services. Mr Leadbetter will take over the children’s services’ portfolio. He will also continue as the Cabinet member for Exeter.

Sidmouth councillor Stuart Hughes remains in charge of highways and cycling and continues as chief whip.

Salcombe councillor, Rufus Gilbert, will retain his Cabinet responsibilities overseeing economic recovery and skills. Mr Gilbert will have a key role in promoting economic development and employment through regeneration and investment as the county council takes a lead in helping Devon recover from the economic effects of the pandemic.

Roger Croad, who was re-elected for Ivybridge, will be responsible for public health, communities and equality as well as the military covenant. He will also remain as Devon’s representative on the Devon and Cornwall police and crime panel.

Combe Martin Rural councillor, Andrea Davis, who oversaw environment, infrastructure and transport in the last Cabinet will continue in that role but will add climate change to her responsibilities as the issue takes centre stage.

The new faces in the Cabinet are Feniton and Honiton councillor, Phil Twiss, who becomes responsible for finance. Mr Twiss has been a county councillor since 2017 and is also an East Devon district councillor.

And Great Torrington councillor, Andrew Saywell, has also been promoted to the Cabinet and will be in charge of organisational development, workforce and digital transformation.

Mr Hart said:

“Last month we won an historic fourth term in office at County Hall.

“Devon County Council is a big business with a turnover of more than one billion pounds a year and it is important that Cabinet members gain experience in all areas of the operation and take on new responsibilities.

“This new Cabinet blends both experience and fresh faces and I know it will be effective in our major challenges of ensuring the Devon economy recovers from the effects of the pandemic and leading our increasing efforts to combat climate change.”