Today Mayor John Biggs announced his new Cabinet, welcoming four new councillors. The move is a shake-up of political responsibilities about who helps manage council services in a borough with over 300,000 residents.
Councillor Asma Islam, Councillor Mufeedah Bustin, Councillor Eve Mc Quillan and Councillor Dan Tomlinson have been appointed to Cabinet. They were all elected in 2018 and have served as mayoral advisors.
For the first time, the Mayor has introduced job share portfolios so Cabinet positions are now in line with modern employment practices. Councillors who are unable to devote their full time to a Cabinet portfolio are no longer unfairly prevented from joining. Reasons for this are often personal circumstances, such as caring responsibilities. This also means new Cabinet members are provided with development opportunities.
John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “I’m delighted to announce my new Cabinet, which now includes job share portfolios. This opens the roles to a wider pool of talent. It’s important to me that we embrace modern working practices.
“It’s a difficult time in local government as we face the challenges of responding to coronavirus and I look forward to working with my Cabinet to deliver for residents in Tower Hamlets.”
Alongside adopting a maternity leave policy for councillors in 2018, the introduction of job share roles for Cabinet members demonstrates Tower Hamlets’ commitment to embrace modern working practices, not just for staff, but also for elected members. This helps to ensure councillors who need to manage other responsibilities, such as employment and childcare, are not prevented from representing their community. Following the changes, the majority of Cabinet is represented by women and BAME members.
The Mayor will shortly mark five years since election. In that time he has moved the council from being under special measures with the Government appointed commissioners, to restoring the reputation of the borough and focussing on delivering for residents.
New Cabinet members:
Mayor John Biggs
Deputy Mayor for Community Safety, Youth and Equalities - Councillor Asma Begum
Deputy Mayor for Housing (Statutory Deputy Mayor) - Councillor Sirajul Islam
Deputy Mayor for Adults, Health and Wellbeing - Councillor Rachel Blake
Cabinet Member for Children and Schools - Councillor Danny Hassell
Cabinet Member for Work and Economic Growth - Councillor Motin Uz-Zaman
Cabinet Member for Resources and the Voluntary Sector - Councillor Candida Ronald
Cabinet Member for Culture, Arts and Brexit - Councillor Sabina Akhtar
Cabinet Member for Planning and Social Inclusion - Councillor Eve McQuillan (job share) and Councillor Mufeedah Bustin (job share)
Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Realm - Councillor Dan Tomlinson (job share) and Councillor Asma Islam (job share)
Posted on Wednesday 3rd June 2020