Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Neil Burden to take over as Cabinet Member for Children and Schools

Neil Burden, Leader of the Independent Group (sic) on Cornwall Council is to take over as the Children and Schools Cabinet member at the end of the month following Sally Bain's departure.

At today's Cabinet meeting there was much discussion about the Lib Dem request for the portfolio to be split. The job is a huge one and the field of children and safeguarding is actually very different from that of schools. However we were told that it is a legal requirement for the job to be held by a single cabinet member. Doris Ansari suggested that Cornwall apply for dispensation to split the role - as Somerset has done. We were told that this would be looked into. I suspect that the more likely outcome is that there will be a Cabinet junior to deal with the bulk of one half of the portfolio with Neil taking the official lead.

Given all the discussion about how big the job is, it was therefore somewhat surprising that we were told nothing about Neil's current role - Health and Wellbeing, which covers libraries and leisure - a portfolio that I shadow. We were left with the impression that he would continue in that role too.

It was only after the meeting that we found out that he would be leaving that job but that a replacement would not be named until later. We expect that name by the end of the month.

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