THE suspense for local authority geeks is over. The Labour Party in Camden, I hear, has today worked out who is doing what executive jobs in the new look Town Hall and they have come up will a line-up that rewards long service but bloods some new faces as well. And in contrast to the circle of suits pictured at the cabinet table in Downing Street this week, there are actually more women than men in the top ten. Sources say Camden’s cabinet will line up as below. What do you think?
LEADER: Nasim (Nash) Ali. A straight transfer. Has led the group for its final year in opposition.
DEPUTY LEADER: Angela Mason. Former head of Stonewall, knows how the different layers of government tick. She will also take on an executive role for sustainability, probably in absence of a new ‘eco-champion’ being appointed.
FINANCE: Theo Blackwell. The most hard-working Labour councillor in opposition? Certainly the most vocal. He’s rewarded with the ‘John Mills’ position, although with cuts and cuts and more cuts on the horizon, others might see it as a poisoned chalice.
EDUCATION: Heather Johnson Ran the scrutiny panel on education in opposition, knows how it all works in Judd Street and has the experience to hit the ground running. New school in Wren Street ASAP will be the target for her party.
HOUSING: Julian Fulbrook …returns to a conversation he was in the middle of having in 2006. Was housing chief when Labour lost control of the Town Hall in 2006. First task will be finding funds for council home repairs in the absence of money from council homes sell offs, halted by the party in its first day back in office.
LEISURE/CULTURE: Tulip Siddiq First week as a councillor and she’s already in the executive. Touchy subject but whatever she does, Lib Dem Flick Rea will have to be the first guest on the invite list for when Prince of Wales Baths opens again later this year.
ENVIRONMENT: Sue Vincent Former deputy leader of the council, she will be the first Labour face since John Thane to deal with… parking. Tin hat needed.
COMMUNITY SAFETY/CRIME: Abdul Hai The moan has been that he doesn’t live in the borough, but he works in King’s Cross and will no doubt put youth disorder at the top of the agenda. In opposition, he gave a sense that he wanted the council to get out of its offices and onto the streets to help disaffected teenagers.
SOCIAL SERVICES: Pat Callaghan Another long server who must have had first dibs on the jobs. Has bags of experience, nobody within the group would argue against her having this turn.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: Sarah Hayward The co-author of the local election manifesto gets the chance to put some of those ideas into practice. Another new councillor who moves straight into a senior role.