Elected just last December, Michelle offered cabinet post at Fenland - but its goodbye to man responsible for leisure debacle

16:27 07 May 2014

Cllr Pop Jolley,

Cllr Pop Jolley,


The councillor responsible for last year’s debacle over re-branding Fenland leisure centres has been axed.

Councillor Pop Jolley, the former portfolio holder for leisure and tourism, has been dropped from the cabinet of new leader John Clark.

“Unfortunately not everyone will be retaining their current position due to changes I wish to implement,” said Cllr Clark.

There’s also no place in the line up for Wisbech councillor Simon King, responsible for conservation, and Gorefield councillor and former chairman Michael Humphrey is not in the new line up.

Councillor Steve Garratt is believed to have a new job so was not available this time round.

And the widely predicted cabinet post for Councillor Martin Curtis didn’t happen either after the former county council leader announced he was taking up a new role in the private sector. Cllr Curtis is to become an account director of a community focused planning consultancy.

Biggest surprise is the appointment of Michelle Tanfield to cabinet, the Elm and Christchurch councillor having only been elected to Fenland in December 2013.

But Cllr Clark has given a cabinet post to the man he beat to the leadership- former deputy leader Chris Seaton will handle finance.

“It was an incredibly close leadership battle, which is testament to the knowledge, passion and professionalism of Cllr Seaton,” said Cllr Clark. “ Chris and I share a mutual respect for each other and we are looking forward to working closely together in the future for the benefit of local residents.”

Cllr Clark has also reduced his cabinet by one – to nine- and brought back Councillor Fred Yeulett and rewarded his close friend Councillor Will Sutton.

Cllr Yeulett takes over the portfolio role for growth whilst neighbourhood planning is given to Cllr Sutton.

Cllr Tanfield gets the leisure and children and young people portfolio, Councillor David Oliver is responsible for community safety and Councillor Peter Murphy continues with environment.

Communities’ portfolio goes to Councillor Mike Cornwell whilst localism and transport will be the job of Councillor Ralph Butcher.

Cllr Clark added: “I am committed to ensuring that the council’s actions are open and transparent.”

Other changes – including chairmanships of committees- will be announced either later today or tomorrow.

The leadership change follows the decision by Councillor Alan Melton to quit ahead of a threatened confidence vote.

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