On 24 May, Councillor Mathew Hicks was elected as the new leader of Suffolk County Council. Councillor Hicks has promised a new era of working in partnership and listening.
In a speech following his election, he pledged to work with district and borough councils, other public sector partners, businesses and residents to find the best ways of delivering services to the people that need them most.
He also confirmed Suffolk County Council’s focus on major infrastructure projects, like the Lake Lothing and Upper Orwell Crossings, Ipswich Northern Relief Road and Sudbury Relief Road, as well as working with district and borough councils to create more homes that people can afford and in the right locations.
One of his first duties was to appoint the Cabinet who, with him, will be responsible for almost £500 million of public services each year.
Councillor Hicks will take personal responsibility for economic development and major infrastructure projects in addition to his leadership duties, and has appointed:
- Councillor Mary Evans as deputy leader and cabinet member for highways, transport and rural affairs
- Councillor Gordon Jones as cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills
- Councillor Rebecca Hopfensperger as cabinet member for adult care
- Councillor Richard Rout as cabinet member for environment and public protection
- Councillor Richard Smith as cabinet member for finance and assets
- Councillor James Reeder as cabinet member for health
- Councillor Paul West as cabinet member for Ipswich, communities and waste.
Councillor Hicks has reserved his ability to appoint a ninth cabinet member, pending a review of the new leadership arrangements.
Councillor Hicks has also appointed deputy cabinet members to support the delivery of the council’s 2017-2021 priorities:
- Councillor Louis Busuttil as deputy cabinet member for highways strategy
- Councillor Alexander Nicoll as deputy cabinet member for transport
- Councillor Craig Rivett as deputy cabinet member for children’s services
- Councillor Chris Chambers as deputy cabinet member for education
- Councillor David Ritchie as deputy cabinet member for adult care
- Councillor Robert Whiting as deputy cabinet member for property.
Councillor Hicks paid tribute to Councillors Colin Noble, Jane Storey, Tony Goldson and Robin Millar for their time in the Cabinet.