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Cabinet chosen after Conservatives maintain control of Hertfordshire County Council
The top political jobs in Hertfordshire have been reshuffled after the county council’s two leaders were re-elected in internal party elections.
Former Watford councillor, Robert Gordon, has been re-elected as leader along with Chorleywood councillor, Chris Hayward, as his deputy in a vote by ruling council’s Conservative group.
The ballot comes after last week’s local elections from which the Conservatives emerged with a reduced but still working majority of 46 of the council’s 77 seats.
Following his re-election, Councillor Gordon has reshuffled his cabinet with Councillor Hayward being given the new portfolio of enterprise, education and skills.
Speaking to the Watford Observer, Councillor Hayward described his new brief as a "promotion".
He said enterprise had been combined with education as the council wanted to bolster efforts to better prepare children in the county for the workplace.
"The idea is that by linking with the place of work and business to get children ready and trained up for the work place," he said. That is why we have put the two together in the same portfolio."
Councillor Hayward added that tackling the looming primary and secondary school place shortage in the county would be a priority.
Following his initial election to the county’s number two job last year, Councillor Hayward kept his original portfolio libraries and localism.
His elevation was prompted by his predecessor, David Lloyd, resigning the post after being elected as Hertfordshire police and crime commissioner in November.
While he had been county deputy leader, Mr Lloyd had held the portfolio for finance.
However, after Councillor Hayward was elected to the role Councillor Gordon removed it from the deputy leader post the finance portfolio on himself.
Before the reshuffle the education had been held by Oxhey Park councillor Frances Button, who has now been given the customer service, performance and libraries portfolio.
Elsewhere, Kings Langley councillor Richard Roberts, has retained the children's services portfolio.
This week’s reshuffle saw two new councillors promoted to the cabinet: Harpenden representative Teresa Heritage and Hemel Hempstead representative Terry Douris Councillor Heritage will take up the public health and localism portfolio and Councillor Douris will take charge of highways and waste management.
The remaining three cabinet posts have been filled by councillors who were already serving on the ruling-body.
Knebworth and Codicote councillor, Richard Thake, who was in charge of, community safety, has been given the expended new portfolio of community safety and planning.
Derrick Ashley, who represents Hitchin, has taken over resources and transformation portfolio, after previously holding the transformation, performance and waste management brief.
Hemel Hempstead councillor, Colette Wyatt-Lowe, remains portfolio holder for adult care and health.
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