New faces for refreshed Devon County Council Cabinet where economic recovery and climate change take centre stage

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Connect Me - Democracy

Thursday 27 May 2021

New faces for refreshed Devon County Council Cabinet where economic recovery and climate change take centre stage

Devon County Council leader John Hart has refreshed his ruling Cabinet following last month’s election victory.

Mr Hart was re-elected leader of the council at today’s annual meeting. He will retain responsibility for policy, property and corporate matters and will chair the Cabinet. He said:

“Last month we won an historic fourth term in office at County Hall.

“Devon County Council is a big business with a turnover of more than one billion pounds a year and it is important that Cabinet members gain experience in all areas of the operation and take on new responsibilities.

“This new Cabinet blends both experience and fresh faces and I know it will be effective in our major challenges of ensuring the Devon economy recovers from the effects of the pandemic and leading our increasing efforts to combat climate change.”

Devon County Council Cabinet

Left to right, top to bottom: John Hart, James McInnes, Andrew Leadbetter, Stuart Hughes, Rufus Gilbert, Roger Croad, Andrea Davis, Phil Twiss, Andrew Saywell

Councillor James McInnes was re-elected as deputy leader of the council and will take responsibility for adult social care and health services. 

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter will take over the children’s services’ portfolio. He will also continue as the Cabinet member for Exeter.

Councillor Stuart Hughes remains in charge of highways and cycling and continues as chief whip.

Councillor Rufus Gilbert will retain his responsibility overseeing economic recovery and skills. He will have a key role in promoting economic development and employment through regeneration and investment as the county council takes a lead in helping Devon recover from the economic effects of the pandemic.

Councillor Roger Croad will be responsible for public health, communities and equality as well as the military covenant. He will also remain as Devon’s representative on the Devon and Cornwall police and crime panel.

Councillor Andrea Davis, who oversaw environment, infrastructure and transport in the last Cabinet will continue in that role but will add climate change to her responsibilities as the issue takes centre stage. She will take charge of the authority’s growing role in combating climate change and becoming net-zero carbon by 2030. She said:

“This is the right time to put the issue centre stage in Devon.

“This is the goal of Devon’s Carbon Plan – to set out a clear roadmap of what we all have to do to ensure that Devon becomes net-zero and continues to thrive.”

The new faces in the Cabinet are Councillor Phil Twiss, who becomes responsible for finance. He has been a county councillor since 2017 and is also an East Devon district councillor.

And Councillor Andrew Saywell has also been promoted to the Cabinet and will be in charge of organisational development, workforce and digital transformation.

You can find out more about how Devon County Council works, including agendas and minutes for meetings of the Cabinet and various committees, who your local councillor is and how to get involved on our website.