Published: 6 January, 2017
by ALINA POLIANSKAYA
WESTMINSTER’S planning chief will be stepping down from a role he has held for more than 16 years as part of a cabinet reshuffle.
Cllr Robert Davis will no longer be the cabinet member for built environment, taking on a “new challenge” as business, culture and heritage chief.
He will remain deputy council leader and said: “I will take on a significantly greater role assisting Cllr Aiken in the leadership of the city council and in more corporate and strategic decision making”.
Cllr Nickie Aiken, currently cabinet member for public protection and licensing, is expected to be sworn in as the new leader at a meeting on January 25, taking over from Baroness Couttie, formerly known as Philippa Roe, who will be moving on to concentrate on her appointment to the House of Lords. Cllr Aiken’s cabinet role will be taken over by Cllr Antonia Cox.
Cllr Davis said: “After just short of 17 years’ continuous service as chairman of the council’s planning committee and almost 15 years as cabinet member for planning, I have felt for some time that it was time for a new challenge.”
Setting out the terms of his new position, he said: “I will retain responsibility for the mayoralty, for West End Live, for public art; for the green plaque scheme and for special events and filming as well as city promotions. I will also continue taking the lead on all major public realm schemes such as Bond Street, Hanover Square and Baker Street and, in particular, for the Oxford Street project. I will chair the Oxford Street steering group, part of the West End Partnership.”
As well as nine cabinet positions, two posts have been created with the new chairman of planning Cllr Richard Beddoe and chairwoman for licensing Cllr Angela Harvey.
Cllr Heather Acton will swap her former role of member for sustainability and parking to a new position member for adult social services and public health. Cllr Danny Chalkley will no longer be in charge of children and young people and instead become cabinet member for planning and public realm, while Cllr Richard Holloway becomes member for children, families and young people.