New-look top table unveiled at council

Wigan Council leader Coun David Molyneux
Wigan Council leader Coun David Molyneux

Wigan Council’s new leader has unveiled the cabinet which will form the borough’s senior political leadership team.

Coun David Molyneux has made several changes to the line-up which served under his predecessor Lord Peter Smith to help him deliver his priorities.

Related: New leader's listening pledge and praise for Wigan economy

The one new face welcomed to the cabinet table is Coun Nazia Rehman, who will have the resources, finance and transformation portfolio.

That means the Tyldesley ward representative’s duties will include overseeing public sector reform, customer services and the council’s legal team.

There has also been a shuffling round of some of the existing briefs, with Coun Carl Sweeney given a new role as cabinet member for the environment with responsibilities for waste and recycling, highways and looking after green spaces in the borough.

Coun Kevin Anderson moves into a new role of portfolio holder for police, crime and civil contingencies.

He will oversee the council’s emergency response capability, community safety and partnership working with the police.

Elsewhere at the cabinet table things remain the same, with both Coun Molyneux and his deputy leader Coun Keith Cunliffe retaining their existing responsibilities for economic development and regeneration and adult social care respectively.

Coun Molyneux will also have responsibility for policy direction, the budget, delivering the Deal for the Future scheme and working on a Greater Manchester level.

Coun Cunliffe will oversee service integration, health and wellbeing and services for adults with disabilities.

Among the cabinet members who retain their existing positions are Coun Jenny Bullen, portfolio holder for children and young people, Coun Chris Ready, who retains the brief for communities, and Coun Terry Halliwell, who remains working on housing and welfare.

The top team will also be supported by five lead members with special responsibilities.

They are Coun Joanne Marshall for green Wigan, Coun Jim Moodie for leisure and public health, Coun Paula Wakefield for equalities and domestic abuse, Coun Clive Morgan for armed forces and veterans and Coun Yvonne Klieve for district centres and the night-time economy.

Coun Molyneux said: “I am privileged to be supported in my leadership by a team of very talented, hard-working and passionate councillors who are dedicated to improving Wigan borough.

“We have some great opportunities for the borough ahead but also some significant challenges, not least the ending of central government funding by 2020.

“I know my cabinet team will meet these challenges head-on and be prepared to make the decisions that will help Wigan Council to continue to be one of the best performing councils in the country.”

Despite the enlargement of the lead members group the overall allowance for the extra roles has remained the same.

Coun Molyneux has promised a listening leadership, previously telling the Wigan Post: “I don’t want any part of this borough to feel disenfranchised.”

He has said his top priorities for the early days of his time in the top role including boosting the life chances of young Wiganers, through everything from Sure Start to education, and growing the borough’s economy. He also hailed the imminent start of major infrastructure projects.