Key roles filled at County Council

KEY positions on East Sussex County Council have been approved at the authority’s first full council meeting since the election.

Colin Belsey, member for Eastbourne Ratton, is the new chairman of the council, taking the chains of office from Framfield and Horam councillor Chris Dowling, while Michael Ensor, member for Bexhill King Offa, will serve as vice-chairman.

Cllr Belsey, who will be accompanied on ceremonial duties by his consort, wife Terri, paid tribute to his predecessor, describing him as ‘a wonderful ambassador’ and said he hoped to see ‘respect’ from all sides of the council chamber during his year in office.

Keith Glazier, member for Rye and Eastern Rother, was confirmed as the new leader of the council, succeeding Peter Jones, who stood down at the election, with Eastbourne Sovereign representative David Elkin as his deputy.

Cllr Glazier, who will head up a minority Conservative administration, will fulfil the role of lead cabinet member for strategic management and economic development, and will also be responsible for public health, while Cllr Elkin is lead member for resources.

Cllr Dowling takes the community services portfolio while other new additions to the cabinet are Heathfield member Rupert Simmons (economy) and Crowborough councillor Sylvia Tidy (children and families).

Retaining their cabinet posts are Brede Valley and Marsham member Carl Maynard (transport and environment), Hailsham and Herstmonceux councillor Bill Bentley (adult social care) and Alfriston, East Hoathly and Hellingly member Nick Bennett (learning and school effectiveness).

The meeting also saw council committee chairmanships agreed, with the posts allocated to reflect the new political make-up of the authority.

Crowborough councillor Richard Stogdon will chair the regulatory committee, economy, transport and environment scrutiny committee, standards committee and pension fund investment panel.

Hastings Ashdown and Conquest member Peter Pragnell chairs the adult social care and community safety scrutiny committee, Cllr Glazier chairs the governance committee and Cllr Ensor chairs the health overview and scrutiny committee.

Mike Blanch, Lib Dem member for Eastbourne Hampden Park, chairs the audit, best value and community services scrutiny committee, his party colleague and Battle and Crowhurst member Kathryn Field chairs the children’s services scrutiny committee while Labour’s Godfrey Daniel, member for Hastings Braybrooke and Castle, is chairman of the planning committee.