The opposition Conservative leader of Birmingham City Council has opted for a mostly experienced front bench team to tackle the incoming Labour administration over the next year.
Coun Mike Whitby and his deputy Robert Alden were appointed by colleagues last week. Now many outgoing cabinet members and scrutiny committee chairmen and women have been ease into new Shadow Cabinet roles.
Coun Alan Rudge (Sutton Vesey) is spokesman on social cohesion and equalities, Coun Philip Parkin (Sutton Trinity) is spokesman on culture, leisure, sport, green and smart city and sustainability, Coun Deirdre Alden (Edgbaston) is health and wellbeing spokeswoman and Coun Timothy Huxtable (Bournville) is development, transport and property spokesman.
Elsewhere, Coun Randall Brew (Northfield) will tackle finance, commissioning, performance and contracts, Coun Anne Underwood (Sutton Four Oaks) will deal with children’s services and newcomer to the top table Coun James Bird (Sutton New Hall) will look after education.
The cabinet posts closely follow the new Labour cabinet set up, but are not identical. A key difference is that, just like their Cabinet of the last two years, there will be an extra political focus on the struggling but recovering children’s services department.
See this week’s Birmingham Post – out on Thursday – for more analysis of the cabinet and shadow cabinet.