New cabinet member for children’s services at county council

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SUS-150414-122716001

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A new cabinet member for children - start of life at West Sussex County Council is due to be appointed later this month.

Stephen Hillier (Con, Haywards Heath East) is set to replace incumbent Peter Evans (Con, East Preston and Ferring).

The change comes several months after children’s services in West Sussex were rated as ‘requiring improvement’ by Ofsted, but officers said the council had made ‘huge improvements in many areas’.

Mr Hillier, who is currently deputy cabinet member for children - start of life, said: “I am honoured to be taking up this role and I am mindful of the enormous responsibility that it bears because it involves the welfare of a huge range of West Sussex children.

“However, I am very fortunate to be stepping into the role after Peter Evans as he has done a tremendous job and leaves children’s services in extremely good shape.

“He has been outstanding, much-respected by people working at all levels throughout the county, and we all owe him our thanks and very best wishes.”

Meanwhile Margaret Evans (Con, Chichester South) is stepping down as chairman of the Health and Adult Social Committee (HASC), and will be succeeded by Bryan Turner (Con, Broadwater), who is also a Worthing borough council cabinet member.

Louise Goldsmith (Con, Chichester West), leader of the county council said: “Last July Peter [Evans] and Margaret Evans advised me that in spring 2016 both wanted to stand down from their additional roles on the county council.

“Peter has served in the cabinet for over ten years and his absolute commitment has been outstanding.

“As cabinet member for children – start of life for the last five years, Peter has spent a huge amount of time and effort on improving the whole of the service and the service has improved considerably. I am delighted that Stephen Hillier has agreed to take on the portfolio.

“Margaret Evans has been an excellent chairman of HASC and again I thank her for her contribution.

“I would also like to thank Bryan Turner for agreeing to take over as chairman. He is not only an experienced chairman but his professional background will bring considerable knowledge as well.”

It will be the second cabinet change within four months as Michael Brown resigned as cabinet member for finance in December as he felt unable to announce significant council tax increases.

Jeremy Hunt then moved from the education and skills portfolio to finance, while his vacated cabinet position was filled by Richard Burrett.

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