French back in favour and Archer gets vice chair role as Melton announces new appointments

PUBLISHED: 11:58 10 March 2010 | UPDATED: 09:33 02 June 2010

jan french

jan french

By John Elworthy COUNCIL Leader Alan Melton had a surprise in store today as he gave the chairmanship of a key Fenland Council committee to Councillor Jan French. It marks a return to favour for the March councillor, a former chairman of the planning co

By John Elworthy

COUNCIL Leader Alan Melton had a surprise in store today as he gave the chairmanship of a key Fenland Council committee to Councillor Jan French.

It marks a return to favour for the March councillor, a former chairman of the planning committee.

Cllr French is widely credited with focusing the council's attention on the loose application and determination of section 106 money, the cash received by Fenland Council as part of the 'planning gain' on many developments.

However under the former leader, Councillor Geoff Harper, she remained out of favour but continued to be a vociferous critic from the back benches.

Following Cllr Melton's election in December, however, Cllr French was asked to chair a constitution review group whose findings have already led to major changes in the way the council will operate.

Cllr Melton has rewarded her efforts by once again splitting the overview and scrutiny committee into two separate committees, and giving her the chairmanship of the overview and scrutiny (policy) committee. Ironically it was a post she held, briefly, some years ago but lost out when both committees were brought back under one umbrella.

Her vice chairman is also a surprise appointment, that of district councillor Steve Count who only joined the council last year winning the seat made vacant following the death of Councillor Peter Skoulding.

Cllr Melton also confirmed today that Councillor Roger Green of Wisbech will chair the planning committee, with Councillors Phil Hatton and Councillor Pam Potts as first and second vice chairmen, respectively.

Chairman of Overview and Scrutiny (Performance) will be Councillor Mike Humphrey, with independent councillor Mark Archer as his vice chairman.

"I shall be asking Councillor Chris Seaton to take on the role of Community Re-Generation, which includes Market Towns and Rural Settlements," said Cllr Melton.

"There will be clear un-ambiguous dividing lines between portfolios.

"Officers are currently drawing up suggestions for responsibilities, for me to consider.


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