John Hart Refreshes His Cabinet

Devon County Council leader John Hart has announced proposals to refresh his ruling Cabinet following last week’s election victory.

Mr Hart, who was re-elected leader of the Conservative group after the county election, will retain responsibility for policy and corporate matters and will chair the Cabinet.

Dawlish councillor John Clatworthy was re-elected as deputy leader and will retain his brief for finance and property matters.

Hatherleigh and Chagford councillor, James McInnes, remains as the Cabinet member for Children’s Services which includes education and social care.

Sidmouth councillor Stuart Hughes remains in charge of highways, cycling and public rights of way and also retains his role as chief whip.

And Holsworthy Rural councillor, Barry Parsons, will remain in charge of organisational development, corporate services and digital transformation.

But other Cabinet members are taking on new responsibilities.

Mr Hart said: “This will be our ninth successive year of running Devon County Council.

“We have recently streamlined our senior management team and these new Cabinet responsibilities dovetail more exactly with individual officers.

“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.”

Exeter councillor Andrew Leadbetter will take on the portfolio for Adult Care and Health and will take a lead in the growing debate about closer working between health and social care services. Mr Leadbetter will also retain his responsibilities as the Cabinet liaison for Exeter.

Combe Martin Rural councillor, Andrea Davis, takes over Infrastructure, Development and Waste Management and will oversee Devon’s responsibility for delivering the council’s major infrastructure schemes including vital transport links, and the Council’s capital schemes.

Roger Croad, who was re-elected for Ivybridge, adds public health to his previous responsibilities for communities and the environment and adds flooding and coastal protection to his duties. He will also remain as Devon’s representative on the Devon and Cornwall police and crime panel.

Ashburton and Buckfastleigh councillor, Stuart Barker, will now oversee Economy and Skills and will be responsible for the county’s relationship with the Local Enterprise Partnerships or LEPs.

Mr Barker will promote economic development and employment through regeneration and investment and oversee the council’s lead role in post-16 education and training and skills for employment in schools, colleges and other settings.

The new positions will not be confirmed until the Leader of the Council’s formal appointment at the meeting of the Full Council on Thursday 25 May.