New role with responsibility for Oxfordshire and Cherwell councils’ partnership

Cllr Ian Corkin
Cllr Ian Corkin

An Oxfordshire county and Cherwell district councillor has been made responsible for the two authorities’ new partnership with a joint role on both cabinets.

Cllr Ian Corkin will sit on both Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet and Cherwell District Council’s executive overseeing the partnership and chairing a joint-working committee.

While in early October, the current Cherwell chief executive Yvonne Rees will also become the chief executive of the county council.

Cllr Corkin, who represents Ploughley division at County Hall and Fringford and Heyfords ward at Bodicote House, said: “Exciting times lie ahead as we work on this new arrangement for local government in the north of Oxfordshire.

“I look forward to taking on this new role.”

Cllr Corkin’s role will be jointly-funded by both councils and will start on September 1.

County council leader Ian Hudspeth said: “The new partnership is a very important project for both councils and we need to reflect that in terms of our cabinet.

"I have agreed with Cllr Barry Wood, the leader of Cherwell District Council, that we will have a new joint cabinet role with Cllr Ian Corkin filling it."

Cherwell leader Barry Wood added: “This position reflects the changes that will begin to take real shape in the coming months of 2018 and beyond.

"I look forward to the new arrangements bedding in and working closely with Cllr Corkin."

In other changes to the county council’s cabinet, Banbury councillor Eddie Reeves has been promoted with responsibility for ‘transformation’, including the 'Fit For the Future' programme with responsibility for ICT, property and procurement and there will be close links with the Cherwell partnership.

While Chipping Norton councillor Hilary Hibbert-Biles is stepping down from cabinet.

Her public health and education responsibilities will be split between adult social care portfolio holder Cllr Lawrie Stratford and cultural services portfolio holder Cllr Lorraine Lindsay-Gale respectively.

Cllr Hudspeth said: “It is logical to combine public health with adult social care and cultural services with education.

"There are a lot of synergies; especially as we are working with our health partners on an integrated care system.

"Public health funds will continue to be ringfenced as per Government guidelines.

“One of the biggest issues over recent months/years with schools has been property due to the involvement of Carillion.

"Although we have broken our link with Carillion there are still a number of ongoing issues predating our terminating the contract.

"The fact that Cllr Lindsay-Gale was working in property as part of her previous portfolio and therefore understands the issues will be an advantage.

“As part of his key new role Cllr Eddie Reeves will chair the cross party working group for the Fit For the Future programme, transforming council services in future years.

“I would like to thank Cllr Hilary Hibbert-Biles for all of her hard work as cabinet member covering the public health and education portfolios.”

Meanwhile Cllr Hudspeth will be appointed chairman of the Local Government Association wellbeing committee on September 1, which has responsibility for adult social care, with the publication of the Government’s Green paper.