Cabinet change at Newcastle City Council

A change to the membership of Newcastle City Council’s Cabinet has been confirmed today.

Cllr Arlene Ainsley will join the Cabinet as member for Transport and Air Quality, with responsibility for leading on the delivery of major transport schemes, local highways improvements, promoting cycling and improving air quality.

Cllr Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “I am delighted that Arlene is joining the Cabinet and look forward to working her.”

Cllr Ainsley replaces Cllr Simon Bird, who was due to take up the position but due to work commitments is unable to fulfil the role.

As previously announced, Cllr Nora Casey is appointed as Cabinet member for Children and Young People. Cllr Casey replaces Cllr Joanne Kingsland in a phased handover of Children’s Services.

The full list of Cabinet members and portfolios are as follows:

Leader Cllr Nick Forbes provides overall leadership within the council and on behalf of the council and the city to the region and the wider world, including relationships with the Combined Authority and Government. As chair of Cabinet he is responsible for ensuring that the council is working towards its priorities. Background: Nick has a background working in the NHS and the voluntary sector. He is also the leader of Labour local government for England and Wales, and Senior Vice Chair of the LGA.

Deputy Leader Cllr Joyce McCarty works closely with the Leader on political governance across the council. She ensures the council works in the interests of fairness and as such her portfolio includes key issues like fair pay policy, equalities and financial inclusion. Background: Joyce has recently retired from a career in local government in Children’s Services as a school improvement officer, following a career as a teacher.

Cabinet Member of Resources Cllr Veronica Dunn looks after the council’s resources and assures that they are used wisely and in line with the direction set by Cabinet through the budget. She is also responsible for ensuring that the council has a performance regime which is driving change and improvement. Background: Veronica is a retired local government officer and former President of UNISON.

Cabinet Member for Culture and Communities Cllr Kim McGuinness leads on culture, tourism and delivering major events. She is also responsible for ward governance, neighbourhood facilities, neighbourhood devolution and co-operative communities. Background: Kim has worked in both businesses and charities with a focus on employment and higher education.

Cabinet Member for Transport and Air Quality Cllr Arlene Ainsley leads on the delivery of major transport schemes, local highways improvements, promoting cycling and improving air quality. Background: Arlene has worked in the voluntary sector for many years and currently manages volunteer recruitment and development for a sports charity.

Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Regulatory Services Cllr Nick Kemp is focussed on delivering decent neighbourhood standards and protecting the natural and built environment, alongside the promotion of community safety. Background: Nick is the Managing Director of a public affairs business. He has a background in strategic communications and also as a parliamentary aide.

Cabinet Member for Inclusive Growth Cllr Ged Bell leads on future development and investment in Newcastle, including our own major projects and capital programme. He is also responsible for promoting the skills agenda to ensure everyone benefits from jobs being created. Background: Ged is a retired firefighter.

Cabinet Member for Public Health and Housing Cllr Jane Streather leads on public health activities, Jane is also responsible for housing delivery and management. Background: Jane has worked for the Child Poverty Action Group, National Children’s Bureau, and has been a director within local government. She has experience and knowledge of the voluntary sector nationally and locally.

Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Health Cllr Karen Kilgour is responsible for providing and commissioning the protection and care of elderly and disabled people. She also leads on health and social care integration, refugee and strategic migration. She is the Armed Forces Champion. Background: Karen is a former local government officer, with experience of campaigning for equalities.

Cabinet Member for Children and Young People Cllr Nora Casey is responsible for ensuring that children and young people get the best start in life and as such looks after areas such as relationships with schools and services such as safeguarding and social care. Background: Nora has worked in the Irish Parliament and now works in the charity sector as an administrator.