DUDLEY’S political leaders have unveiled their top table teams to debate how to deal with savage budget cuts.
At a full council meeting on May 19, the ruling Tory group’s new leader, Cllr Les Jones, announced his cabinet will include two new faces for 2011/12.
The Conservatives have a majority of 14 on the 72 seat council and need to slash £22m from spending before March next year after reductions in government grants.
Cllr Jones said: “Over the past year or so, like all other councils across the country, we have been making extremely difficult decisions in relation to our reduced budgets.
“There will of course be more difficult decisions to make, but I’m confident we can look forward to a bright future in the Dudley borough and we already have plenty to be proud of.”
In the reshuffle former Lye councillor David Vickers was handed responsiblilty for performance management and quality reassurance.
The ex-education boss, now a ward member for Halesowen South, was ousted in the 2006 local elections after what many pundits believe was a backlash against unpopular primary school closures.
The other cabinet new boy is Cllr Tim Wright who takes on the dual roles of deputy leader and human resources, law and governance chief.
Cllr Adrian Turner took over the portfolio for housing, libraries and adult learning while Cllr Angus Adams moved to regeneration.
He was replaced in the transport directorate by Cllr Patrick Harley.
Councillors staying put in their cabinet jobs are Cllr Liz Walker (children's services), Cllr David Blood (finance), Cllr Lesley Faulkner (adult and community services) and Cllr David Stanley (environment and culture).
On the opposition front bench, Labour group leader David Sparks has chosen Cllr Rachel Harris is the new spokesperson for adult and community services.
The rest of the shadow cabinet is unchanged, Cllr Shaukat Ali remains in charge of regeneration, Cllr Pete Lowe retained the finance job and Cllr Tim Crumpton remains spokesman for children's services.
The rest of the Labour front bench line up is Cllr Mohammed Hanif (performance management and quality assurance), Cllr Zafar Islam (environment and culture), Cllr Gaye Partridge (human resources, law and governance), Cllr Steve Waltho (housing, libraries and adult learning) and Cllr Judy Foster (transportation).