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Can Northumberland Tory leader continue in his North of Tyne Cabinet role, ask Liberal Democrats?

August 13, 2020 9:38 PM

Anita Lower 2017The Liberal Democrats member on the North of Tyne Combined Authority's Overview and Scrutiny Committee has called on the North of Tyne Mayor to make a public statement in his capacity as chair of the North of Tyne Combined Authority cabinet on the resignation of Cllr Wayne Daley from his position as deputy leader of Northumberland County Council. In this capacity he also sits as the North of Tyne Cabinet member for education improvement. Is it appropriate for Cllr Peter Jackson, the leader of Northumberland County Council, to continue in his post as North of Tyne Cabinet member for place and productivity?

Cllr Anita Lower, the former leader of the Opposition on Newcastle City Council, believes there are important questions for the North of Tyne Combined Authority's cabinet and Mayor arising from recent developments at Northumberland County Council.

In addition to seeking assurances on the authority's continuing confidence in its Cabinet, Cllr Lower is concerned that the North of Tyne authority's work on its emerging Education Challenge programme to improve educational attainment should not be set back by Cllr Daley's departure at a time when schools face particular challenges from Covid 19 and from the ensuing impact on school students taking exams.

Cllr Lower said:

"The Combined Authority has taken considerable time to get its Education Challenge flagship policy in place and Cllr Daley had been closely involved in this. An urgent statement is needed from the Mayor and Cabinet on how this work will be carried forward until a replacement is appointed, and how quickly the new appointee can make progress on this important agenda when improving the region's education attainment faces significant challenges from the Covid crisis and exam results debacle."

"As a member of the North of Tyne's Overview and Scrutiny committee, I am also calling for a timely public statement by the chair of the North of Tyne Cabinet, Mayor Driscoll, to indicate whether he continues to have confidence in the North of Tyne cabinet member for place and productivity given recent developments."

"Clearly recent issues involving Northumberland County Council are a matter for councillors in the county to address. But the departure in the last few days of the county council chief executive and the deputy leader over leadership and governance concerns means there are now important questions of public interest and probity about the Northumberland council leader's position on the North of Tyne Cabinet."