Oldham Council has appointed a new-look Cabinet to lead the Borough in 2015/6.
The top team includes changes to portfolios, roles and responsibilities – plus important moves to reflect the importance of devolution to the Greater Manchester region – and was approved at Annual Council today (May 20).
Councillors Jim McMahon and Jean Stretton will continue as Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council respectively.
Cllr McMahon will lead the new ‘Economy and Enterprise’ portfolio which includes dealing with the City Region agenda, regeneration, enterprise and business support, capital projects and investments, corporate property/assets, Oldham Town Centre and markets, tourism and external relations.
A key change sees Cllr Stretton now taking on a new Health and Wellbeing brief with responsibility for Public Health and improvement – and crucially leading for Oldham on the devolution of significant new health powers and a £6bn budget to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
The line-up also sees Cllr Arooj Shah brought into Cabinet as the new portfolio holder for Performance and Corporate Governance with responsibility for important areas like customer service, communications and performance monitoring.
Jim McMahon, Oldham Council Leader, said: “This new Cabinet sees some important but vital changes as we enter a period that will offer many great challenges – but also good opportunities – to Oldham.”
“This team has a great mix of experience, talent, gender and ideas and will continue to lead on our key priorities for the borough like regeneration, job creation, supporting communities to prosper and improving health outcomes for all.
“In the next 12 months we know we will undoubtedly face further significant pressures on our budget: a challenge which we will again not shrink from. But we are also at an important stage where we will start to see delivery on key regeneration projects like the cinema and restaurants at the Old Town Hall, Parliament Square and the new Oldham Sports Centre.
“We’ve also taken a conscious decision to make Health and Wellbeing a portfolio in its own right given the significance of the new powers and budget that have been devolved to Greater Manchester. We intend to play a full part in these discussions and to maximise the benefits to Oldham residents.”
Cabinet remains unchanged in size and there are five other Cabinet Members responsible for the following areas:
· Education and Skills – Cllr Shoab Akhtar
· Social Care and Safeguarding – Cllr Jenny Harrison
· Neighbourhoods and Co-operatives – Cllr Barbara Brownridge
· Housing, Planning and Highways – Cllr Dave Hibbert
· Finance and HR – Cllr Abdul Jabbar
· Performance and Corporate Governance – Cllr Arooj Shah.