Reading Labour’s front bench and portfolio reshuffle

New lead councillor portfolios and appointments were agreed at the Reading Borough Council (RBC) AGM on 23 May. This reshuffle promoted Katesgrove ward councillor Sophia James to the front bench as lead councillor for neighbourhoods and communities, replacing Councillor Liz Terry who held a similar portfolio last year. Councillor Ashley Pearce, Church ward, took over the education portfolio from Councillor Tony Jones.

Labour parliamentary candidate for Reading West, Whitley ward councillor Rachel Eden, is no longer on the front bench and has handed her adult social care portfolio to Councillor Tony Jones.

Last year’s portfolios of culture, sport and consumer services, and health were re-organised into three new portfolios of culture heritage and recreationhealth, wellbeing and sport, and corporate and consumer services.

The addition of corporate services in the name of a lead councillor’s portfolio may herald an increased focus by councillors on RBC’s central management functions as well as service delivery to the public.

There are now eight, rather than seven lead councillors, including the leader of the council Jo Lovelock.

All councillors receive a basic allowance of £8220 per annum. The leader receives an additional £7004, the deputy leader an extra £5722 and lead councillors an additional £3816. There are also allowances for committee chairs, deputy chairs, the leader of each opposition group, and to cover the care of children and dependants. Allowances for the year commencing 1 April 2018 were agreed at the RBC full council meeting in March.

Portfolios 2018-19 lead councillor
2017-18 lead councillor
Adult social care Councillor Tony Jones Councillor Rachel Eden
Children Councillor Liz Terry n/a
Children’s services and families n/a Councillor Jan Gavin
Corporate and consumer services Councillor Jason Brock n/a
Culture, heritage and recreation Councillor Sarah Hacker
Culture, sport and consumer Services n/a Councillor Sarah Hacker
Education Councillor Ashley Pearce Councillor Tony Jones
Health, wellbeing and sport Councillor Graeme Hoskin n/a
Health n/a Councillor Graeme Hoskin
Housing Councillor John Ennis Councillor John Ennis
Neighbourhoods and communities Councillor Sophia James n/a
Neighbourhoods n/a Councillor Liz Terry
Strategic environment, planning and transport Councillor Tony Page (deputy leader of the council) Councillor Tony Page (deputy leader of the council)

Links
  1. Reading Borough Council AGM 23 May 2018 – papers (not webcast)
  2. Councillor Tony Jones’ blog
  3. Reading Borough Council 27 March 2018 – papers & webcast
  4. Poster of councillors 2018-19
  5. Lead councillors and committee chairs
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