Opposition parties in Wrexham Council have reacted to the lead member appointments of the new administration’s executive board.
Last week’s Full Council meeting saw an Independent and Conservative coalition voted through by a majority – resulting in the return of Cllr Mark Pritchard as council leader and Cllr Hugh Jones appointed for the first time as deputy leader.
It had been anticipated that the lead member roles would also be announced at the meeting, however the 10 portfolio holders were not unveiled until Friday morning.
As reported last week there have been five new additions and five councillors retaining the same portfolios as the previous administration:
Cllr Terry Evans: Lead Member for Economy – Economic Development and Regeneration
Cllr Phil Wynn: Lead Member for People – Education
Cllr William Baldwin: Lead Member for People – Children’s Services
Cllr Joan Lowe: Lead Member for People – Health and Adult Social Care
Cllr Hugh Jones: Lead Member for People – Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety
Cllr Paul Rogers: Lead Member for People – Youth Services and Anti-Poverty
Cllr David Griffiths: Lead Member for Place – Housing
Cllr David A Bithell: Lead Member for Place – Environment and Transport
Cllr Mark Pritchard: Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health & Safety and Governance
Cllr David Kelly: Lead Member for Organisation – Planning and Corporate Services
Opposition parties in Wrexham Council have reacted to new appointments, with Cllr Dana Davies, leader of the opposition Labour group, last week stating that Wrexham residents were facing ‘more of the same’ and raised concerns about ‘the lack of transparency within the Guildhall which characterised the previous administration’.
Cllr Davies, said: “It is disappointing to see that the opportunity to reduce the number of councillors on executive board has not been taken.
“This would have reduced costs and this change to portfolios has split services for children and young people into three different areas of responsibility, will this be effective?
Marc Jones, leader of the Plaid Cymru group said: “Now the real work begins to make Wrexham a better place. As a constructive opposition, Plaid will put forward ideas that will improve our communities to try to gain cross-party support.
“Where necessary, we will challenge and oppose poor decisions by the executive board.”
Cllr Rob Walsh, leader of the Liberal Democrats Group added: “I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate all the Lead Members on their appointments. I look forward to working with them all.
“As previously stated, the Liberal Democrats group will act as “critical friends”, supporting the lead members when they make sound decisions and challenge them when we disagree.”