The Conservative leader of Kent County Council has reshuffled his top team, bringing in some new faces onto the cabinet and losing some others - sacked or leaving by mutual consent.
There are new appointments to the cabinet - the key decision-making body - for Adult Social Care and Public Health, Community and Regulatory Services, Highways and Transport and Communications and People.
Cllr Clair Bell moves into the role of Community and Regulatory Services, replacing Mike Hill, who has stepped down from the cabinet after 18 years.
Cllr Dan Watkins takes on Cllr Bell’s previous position as Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health.
He was Deputy Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport.
Cllr Neil Baker succeeds Cllr David Brazier in Highways and Transport.
Cllr Dylan Jeffrey takes on the role of Cabinet Member for Communications and Democratic Services. He was previously Deputy Cabinet Member for Integrated Children’s Services.
The shake-up brings to an end the second stint in the cabinet for Cllr David Brazier, who has lost his job as cabinet member for the county’s roads and transport.
He was renowned for straight talking and claimed recently that public complaints about potholes were virtually non-existent. He announced that the county council would halt an experiment with electric scooters in Canterbury, before the trial had concluded.
Staying put is the deputy leader and cabinet member for finance Peter Oakford, who is overseeing the authority’s budget amid a spending crisis.
Leader Cllr Roger Gough has been facing some mutterings of discontent from his own back benches and it remains possible that he will face a leadership challenge at the Conservative groups annual meeting in October.
However the reshuffle will give him some cover from friendly fire and may well spare him from having to fight a leadership election.
Announcing the changes Mr Gough said: “These changes to the cabinet give us a renewed team that will focus on the challenges and opportunities facing the council, including the significant pressures we as an authority are continuing to face.
“These are profoundly challenging times and we will drive forward with the urgent and necessary decisions to balance our budget and secure Kent’s future for our residents.
“I’d like to thank those Cabinet Members who are stepping down from their roles for their significant contributions, and in particular to thank Mike Hill for the enduring commitment, care and wisdom he has brought to his cabinet position for the last 18 years.”
The remainder of the cabinet is unchanged.