In the new way of working on the County Council, a new initiative is the idea of Shadow Cabinet members. So each of the Cabinet Portfolio holders has an opposite number in both Labour and Lib Dem groups. I am now the Shadow for Fire Planning and Infrastructure which is held by Cllr Will Windsor-Clive. This is a new proposition for the Council, so not only will we be carrying out the shadow role, but we will also be exploring and shaping what that responsibility involves on a day-to-day level.
In the initial phases the Shadow role will mean I get briefings from the Cabinet member about decisions, issues and policies specific to the portfolio. It will be then up to me to determine how to respond and speak against, for or offer alternatives (or a combination). But I think this role will evolve and we have to be quite agile in how we think about what we are doing.
The Fire Planning and Infrastructure portfolio consists of:
- Fire and Rescue authority
- Minerals and waste planning authority and support services (e.g. Archaeology)
- Planning authority liaison – duty to co-operate
- Strategic transport authority
- LTP – local transport plan
- LTB – local transport body
- Trading Standards
- Civil contingencies
- Community safety, incl. s17, PCC liaison
- Climate change and carbon reduction
So just a few things to get my head around, and a lot of briefings to attend. But it also means I get to cover a lot of the things that are close to my heart, including the Fire Service, Waste Disposal, Transport and community safety which have all been key issues at the heart of our community concerns for a while.
So I look forward to this role developing and being able to make the most of the representation it affords. If you have thoughts and suggestions on it, why not let me know.