CHANGES have been made to the group of councillors that runs Harrow’s public services.
A reshuffle by the ruling Labour administration sees Councillor Phillip O’Dell, also responsible for environment and community services, replaced as deputy council leader by Councillor Thaya Idaikkadar, who is currently portfolio holder for property and major contracts.
Councillor Mitzi Green stands down as portfolio holder for children’s services after two years, for personal reasons. The portfolio will be merged with schools and colleges into a portfolio for children, schools and families, managed by Councillor Brian Gate.
A new portfolio for finance, formerly looked after by council leader Bill Stephenson (pictured), will be created under a newcomer, Queensbury ward’s Councillor Sachin Shah.
Mr Shah said his new role ‘will require a lot of work to deal with government cuts and the financial pressures of an ageing population’.
Mr Stephenson, who will keep his business portfolio, said: “The creation of a new portfolio for finance shows our determination to continue to provide sound finance and value for money in these very difficult times.”
He continued: “I would like to pay tribute to Mitzi Green who has worked tirelessly to improve the quality of our services for children over the past two years. She is passionate about doing the best for young people, which shows in the success she has had with keeping children’s centres open, the improvements in our adoption service and services for looked-after children.”
Mr Stephenson said the merger of the two children’s areas was logical given the greater autonomy of the borough’s schools and the close link between the two portfolios.
He added: “Councillor O’Dell has been a hard working and very supportive deputy and I very much appreciate all his contributions.”
The reshuffle was due to be ratified at an extraordinary council meeting today (Thursday).