Posted: Thu 26th May 2022

10 members of Wrexham’s new executive board revealed

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The 10 members of Wrexham Council’s new executive board has been revealed.

At the first full council since the election a majority of councillors voted in favour of the following councillors to sit on the executive board:

Council leader Mark Pritchard
Deputy council leader David A Bithell
Councillor Terry Evans
Councillor Hugh Jones
Councillor Beverley Parry-Jones
Councillor John Pritchard
Councillor Paul Roberts
Councillor Rob Walsh
Councillor Nigel Williams
Councillor Phil Wynn 

Several of those appointed to the executive board will be familiar to follows of Wrexham Council, with all but three of the members having held portfolios in the previous administration.

Erddig’s Paul Roberts, Gwenfro’s Nigel Williams and Llay’s Rob Walsh are all new lead members on the executive board.

There are no details yet on who will have which portfolio, which formally in the ‘gift’ of the new Council Leader Mark Pritchard but likely decided with the agreement of the whole of the new administration. There will be some new faces with former housing and planning Lead Members David Griffiths and Sonia Benbow-Jones losing their seats at the recent election and Cllr David Kelly stepped down.

As is traditional here is our predictions on who will get which top job…

There could be a surprise move for Cllr David A Bithell who has long held the Environment portfolio, to move to Housing. The vast Environment Department could now come under Cllr Hugh Jones.

Cllr Nigel Williams lead a refresh in the Economy portfolio, with Cllr Terry Evans perhaps moving to Planning. Cllr Rob Walsh looks a likely pick for Childrens’ services.

Cllr John Pritchard is probable to keep using his experience in Adult Social Care, similarly Cllr Beverley Parry-Jones carrying on with the youth services and anti-poverty portfolios would give some consistency.

It would be unlikely if Cllr Mark Pritchard would give up Finance, and with Estyn processes in play it would be unusual if Cllr Phil Wynn moved from Education.

Yesterday Wrexham.com reported that Cllr Mark Pritchard and Cllr David A Bithell had been re-elected as leader and deputy leader of the local authority for the next five years – a historic first for Independents in Wrexham, with the deputy role previously being shared across groups.

The meeting also saw the usual dry technical business of forming up who sits on what committee and with what role, with the Chair positions being firmed up. The numbers are decided on a legally defined politically balanced arrangement to ensure fair representation for ‘opposition’, with part of the role of Scrutiny as holding the Executive to account.

Late changes to the reports before councillors saw adjustments to who was entitled to what, with the Administration expecting three £25.5k a year Chair positions to allocate. This was corrected to just two due to how rounding works, normally a 2.8 figure would be seen as 3 however with the legislation guidance geared towards more balance that would be seen as 2.

The correct calculations were circulated in the hour or so before the meeting, throwing parts of the process into a minor mess. It is not known who took an unexpected £8k pa haircut due to the error.

There was some unhappiness from councillors who ‘did not have a clue’ how to proceed on committee picks due to the lack of accurate information, as one explained, “how do we know where the vacancies are to put a name to the vacancy if it is not correct?’. Usually the week after the first full council sees the finalisation of memberships of committees and other such appointments, but a bigger list will be worked through over the coming days with some political discussion still to take place due to the delay on complete information.

The meeting also agreed up the calendar for the forthcoming year, and also gave backing to “review the arrangements for holding meetings in order to provide flexibility in Council business in accordance with the Diversity in Democracy Declaration” which could mean meeting times are adjusted to be more accommodating to all.

 



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