Top men dumped by council Chief

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THREE councillors have been dropped from Wigan’s ruling Cabinet.

Councillors Paul Prescott (Lifestyle), Brian Baldwin (Cultural and Human Resources) and Fred Walker (Housing and Efficiency) will step down at the annual meeting on Wednesday as the executive is reduced from seven to five members.

But Golborne member Ged Bretherton has been promoted into Cabinet to handle the Efficiency portfolio.

The Cabinet has been slimmed down in line with the economic belt-tightening the council faces. The duties of the three councillors who are leaving will be distributed among the remaining five.

The surviving Cabinet members are:

Deputy leader Coun David Molyneux (economy and regeneration);

Coun Kevin Anderson (environment and neighbourhoods);

Coun Chris Ready, (customer services/back office savings and Leisure and Culture Trust);

Coun Susan Loudon (children, young people and education);

Coun Keith Cunliffe (healthier communities).

Two of the three exiting councillors will continue with existing senior roles outside the cabinet, with Coun Paul Prescott chairing the planning and development committee and Coun Brian Baldwin leading on national local authority human resource issues.

But Coun Fred Walker will return to lead Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority . . . a position he held for 18 years before previously losing his seat on the council in 2008.

The three councillors who are to leave cabinet declined to comment to the Wigan Evening Post.

But Council Leader Lord Smith said: “I have announced a team which will lead Wigan Borough through difficult times.

“We are building on excellent foundations as we bring the council, as well as residents and businesses, through the most challenging period I have encountered in local government. to make back office savings and he also become the cabinet member for the Leisure and Culture Trust. I want to demonstrate that a slimmed down, carefully focused cabinet is the right place to deliver the changes Wigan Borough needs.

“The councillors I have appointed will have bigger roles which reflect the joined up priorities we found ourselves dealing with and also with the council’s new slimmed down management structure. We have the right team to focus the borough on supporting the most vulnerable in our society and giving our community the very best services we can.”

A Labour Party source said today that the changes had been “amicable enough.”