Councillors take up new positions after several resignations

Three councillors have taken new positions with Wakefield Council following several resignations.

Friday, 12th October 2018, 10:53 am
Updated Friday, 12th October 2018, 1:11 pm
Coun Michelle Collins

Councillors George Ayre, Michelle Collins and Jack Hemingway all quit their roles as cabinet assistants in protest over Peter Box’s position as leader of the council.

READ: Labour rebel tells council leader Peter Box to resignCoun Box, who has been at the helm of the Labour Party-led council since 1998, was the subject of a motion put forward by the party’s councillors last month in a bid to pass vote of ‘no confidence’.

He scraped through by a small margin of votes but is coming under increasing pressure to quit in the wake of the damning revelations about Wakefield’s children’s services.

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Coun Jack Hemingway.

The services were rated ‘inadequate’ across all areas by Ofsted in July after a catalogue of failures were found, despite being warned in 2016 about major concerns.

READ: “Next question”: Peter Box ducks query over future as council leaderThe replacement cabinet assistants are Coun Faith Heptinstall, who is now the deputy cabinet member for adults and health, Coun Richard Taylor has taken up the post of deputy cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport and Coun Martyn Ward has joined the team as the deputy cabinet member for the environment and communities.

Coun Peter Box said: “I would like to welcome the three new members joining the team.

“I am confident that these councillors have the knowledge, enthusiasm, experience and dedication needed to serve the district well.”

Coun George Ayre.

READ: Wakefield Council leader Peter Box survives ‘no confidence’ voteMeanwhile, a commissioner appointed by the Department for Education is busy compiling a report into the council’s children’s services.

Running in tandem with the council’s own plan for improvements, it could decide to remove control of the services from Wakefield Council, at least for a short period of time.