The first meeting the new Cabinet took place at Epping Forest District Council on Monday 5 June 2006. Chaired by Councillor Mrs Diana Collins, no fewer than six of the nine Cabinet Members were taking their seats for the first time following the change of political control at the local elections.
Among the items on the first Cabinet was the report by Civil Engineering and Maintenance Portfolio Holder, Councillor Andy Green seeking support for retendering the parking enforcement contract.
After the meeting Councillor Green said: “Although there is a technical provision to extend the current parking enforcement contract beyond its five year term, I am confident we can achieve our aims of reviewing parking enforcement, introducing free Saturday parking in Council pay and display car parks and retendering the contract before it expires in October next year.”
Councillor Green added: “Retendering on our original schedule also gives the new Council Administration the chance to look at Vinci Park Services UK and compare them with the competition to ensure we are getting the best possible service for our residents.”
Planning and Economic Development Portfolio Holder, Councillor Mrs Anne Grigg received support for more local consultation before a final decision is taken on whether to demolish Council garage blocks in Vere Road as part of the proposed Broadway Town Centre Enhancement Scheme. Councillor Mrs Syd Stavrou, Community Well-being Portfolio Holder provided feedback on the Essex Resilience Forum where councils are learning the lessons of the Buncefield Oil Depot Fire in Hertfordshire. She also reported on the highly successful Crucial Crew event for young people held in May.
Parents should find the viewing gallery above the teaching pool at Loughton Leisure Centre Leisure more comfortable after the Cabinet supported proposals by Leisure and Young People Portfolio Holder, Councillor Chris Whitbread for a transfer of £10,000 within the budget to pay for air-conditioning.
The Cabinet agreed that the Council should co-operate in principle with a national initiative to develop a Single Non Emergency Number as part of the Essex SNEN Partnership. The aim of the phone number (101) will be to relieve pressure on the main 999 emergency number, freeing up the blue-light services for serious emergencies.
Commenting on the Cabinet, Councillor Mrs Collins said: With our first meeting coming so soon after the Elections and Annual Council, I was pleased to see so many varied reports coming through. Epping Forest District Council is a very large organisation but we are already seeing the new Administration making its mark.
– Scrutiny Chairman promises vigorous monitoring
Speaking at Cabinet, Councillor Richard Morgan, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny invited all members of the Cabinet to the next meeting of his committee in July. He also put Cabinet on notice of his intention to invite individual portfolio holders to future meetings where they would be quizzed on their performance.
He later said: The role of Scrutiny in monitoring the actions and decisions of the Cabinet has never been more important. I was very grateful to Councillor Mrs Collins for supporting my intention to interview portfolio holders. Scrutiny has a vital role in examining the work of the Cabinet and holding it up to public accountability.
Epping Forest District Council Cabinet:
Leader`s Portfolio “ Mrs Di Collins
Customer Services, Media, Communications and ICT “ Stephen Metcalfe
Community Wellbeing “ Ms Syd Stavrou
Finance, Performance Management and Corporate Support Services “ John Knapman
Civil Engineering and Maintenance “ Andy Green
Housing “ David Stallan
Leisure and Young People “ Chris Whitbread
Planning and Economic Development – Mrs Anne Grigg
Environmental Protection “ Mrs Mary Sartin
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