A new cabinet member in charge of children’s services at West Sussex County Council was officially confirmed last Friday.
Stephen Hillier (Con, Haywards Heath East) has taken on the role of cabinet member for children – start of life from Peter Evans (Con, East Preston and Ferring), who has been in the cabinet for a decade.
Meanwhile Margaret Evans (Con, Chichester South) will also be standing down as chairman of the Health and Adult Social Care Select Committee which will be led by Bryan Turner (Con, Broadwater).
Louise Goldsmith (Con, Chichester West), leader of the county council, said: “Last July, Peter 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. 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.”
Mr and Mrs Evans, who married in 2014, have also announced their retirement from their respective county councillor roles after the May 2017 elections. The couple has said they want to spend more time together.
Mr Evans said: “Both Margaret and I now wish to pursue other interests.
“I have gained much satisfaction from my cabinet roles at the county council particularly in children’s services where I hope that a difference has been made to lives of some of our most vulnerable and underprivileged children.”
He has also just become deputy mayor at Chichester City Council.
As a father-of-two, Mr Evans has lived in Ferring since 1979 and said he will continue to take an active role in the community including his current roles as a trustee of the Cobnor Activities Centre and Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, a councillor at Ferring Parish Council, and a director of Chichester Business Improvement District.
Past roles include serving as chairman of the Ferring Conservative Association, chairman of the East Preston and the Ferring Youth Clubs, governor at Ferring CE Primary School and the Littlehampton Academy.
Mr Hillier said: “As a father of three, 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’s 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.”
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