Hunts and Fens bolster council powerhouse’

HUNTINGDONSHIRE is set to have four of the 10 members of Cambridgeshire County Council s new cabinet, including its new deputy leader, St Ives councillor Roy Pegram. Fenland will also provide four cabinet members, with the new leader, Councillor Shona Joh

HUNTINGDONSHIRE is set to have four of the 10 members of Cambridgeshire County Council's new cabinet, including its new deputy leader, St Ives councillor Roy Pegram.

Fenland will also provide four cabinet members, with the new leader, Councillor Shona Johnstone, and former deputy leader, Councillor John Reynolds, both from South Cambridgeshire, completing the powerhouse. No members of the new body represent electoral divisions in East Cambridgeshire or Cambridge city.

The 10 will be formally approved as cabinet members at the full council's first meeting of the new municipal year on May 15.

Cllr Johnstone, who lives in over and represents Willingham, has taken over as leader from Sawtry's Councillor Keith Walters, who has stepped down after 10 years in the role.

The 44-year-old, who is the county's youngest-ever leader, will take responsibility for sustainable growth and will represent the county on Cambridgeshire Horizons, the not-for-profit company set up to deliver tens of thousands of new homes and infrastructure to the county by 2021.

Cllr Pegram said the new cabinet faced significant challenges, and his overarching priorities would be in delivering equitable access to older people's services, and the two major transport issues, the A14 and guided bus.

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Councillors Victor Lucas (Warboys and Upwood) and Mac McGuire (Norman Cross) keep their cabinet posts, with new boy, Councillor David Harty (Little Paxton and St Neots North) joining to look after service infrastructure, including the "growth agenda" - the fallout from Cambridgeshire's expansion as the fastest growing area of Britain.

Cllr Harty, who was first elected less than two years ago, said: "I've been very impressed by the county council and have been learning a lot. There are some big issues."

Cllr Lucas will take over responsibility for communities and community development, with Cllr McGuire continuing his role in the transport arena, including delivering the St Ives-Cambridge guided bus link, on which work recently started.

Cllr Jill Tuck (Waldersey) will take over children's services from Cllr Johnstone, and Cllr Alan Melton (Chatteris) will look after corporate services. Universal services, including schools, libraries and public health, will fall to Cllr Martin Curtis (Whittlesey), with Fred Yeulett (March East) responsible for enhanced services, such as social care and inclusion.

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