Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Labour announce new cabinet

THE annual meeting of Thurrock Council (Wednesday, 22 May) heard there will be only two changes to the cabinet for the coming year.

Council Leader, Cllr John Kent, told members: “Following the news that Oliver Gerrish was unable to continue due to increased work commitments, I have decided to incorporate the education portfolio into my own and to give Bukky Okunade her first cabinet appointment for children’s social care.

“Otherwise, things remain stable and continue pretty much as before.”

Cllr Kent said: “We have made clear since 2010 that this council’s main priority is education; the improvement in results and the raising of aspirations and that is why I have decided to take up the challenge.

“Not only do I have a personal stake – all three of my children are at different schools in the borough – I also have a long-standing personal commitment to education here. I am the product of a Thurrock education after all.”

Cllr Kent said he aims to talk with all schools in the borough, including head teachers, governors and teachers and that he wants “to get closely involved with Christine Gilbert and the commission”.

He said: “We are committed to improving education opportunities, to increasing the numbers going to top universities, increasing the numbers going to all universities and increasing the number and grades of young people’s examination results.

“We are determined to be in a position to provide the managers and executives working in Thurrock’s growth areas, as well as filling the other posts too.

“Working for growth and working to find investors prepared to put their funds into our borough is a fine aim. Working to enable today’s kids to fill tomorrow’s jobs is a better one still. That is what I want to see.

“Whatever people believe, this council passes on every possible penny direct to the borough’s schools; it works closely with all schools, no matter their type; it offers support and help where necessary.”

He added that for him personally, “Thurrock’s young people are the best. Ninety-nine point nine nine per cent of them work hard, try to achieve and reach their goals. We need to do all we can to help them achieve their full potential.”

He said the rest of the cabinet posts are: “Barbara Rice, deputy leader and Adult Social Care and Health, continuing our journey towards working more closely health providers; Val Morris-Cook, Housing and our five year aim for 1,000 new council homes with more affordable accommodation being created too; Andy Smith and the exciting Regeneration, Highways and Transportation portfolio, fighting for better transport links to aid our growth agenda; Phil Smith with Central Services, Victoria Holloway, overseeing Environment, the new collection system, our cleaner streets and so on; Lynn Worrall leading on Community; and last but not least, Angie Gaywood with Public Protection and helping people feel safer in their homes and on our streets.”

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