Cabinet reshuffle at Northamptonshire County Council

Cllr Smithers joins the cabinet and will be responsible for place and highways.
Cllr Smithers joins the cabinet and will be responsible for place and highways.

There’s been a cabinet reshuffle at Northamptonshire County Council with a former backbencher being promoted to the top table.

Cllr Jason Smithers has taken over the role of cabinet member for highways from Cllr Ian Morris, who will take over the portfolio for adult social care and public health.

The reshuffle was announced by leader Matt Golby, who over the past seven days has seen calls for his resignation in Parliament in the wake of serious case reviews into the murders of two children who had not been protected by the council’s social services department.

Cllr Golby, who has been in charge of the council since last May, has said he will not go and acted in the ‘most diligent way’ he could while cabinet member for children’s services.

The leader said: “I’m delighted to announce my new cabinet team at this crucial time for the council and the county.

“Local government reform and strengthening services that are fit for the future represent key areas of work for us going forward.

“I’m confident that these appointments will together lead to more efficient ways of working and deliver better value for money for taxpayers.”

Cllr Smithers, who represents the Higham ward, joins the cabinet after previously being sanctioned by the council for making offensive tweets about former leader Heather Smith.

Speaking after his appointment Cllr Smithers said: “I want to continue the work that has been done by Cllr Morris and I will fight for every bit of funding we can get. Discussions are currently taking place about the Isham bypass.”

Other reshuffle appointments will see Cllr Sandra Naden Horley move from adult services to a new role of corporate services.

This will encompass customer services, emergency planning, adult learning and country parks. Cllr Fiona Baker will remain as cabinet member for children, families and education and Cllr Malcolm Longley will keep his finance responsibility.

Cllr Lizzie Bowen is the new deputy leader.