Archive for August, 2017

The new county council Cabinet

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

In a recent blog post, I announced the appointment of County Councillor Alan White as the county council’s new Deputy Leader, after Ian Parry stepped down from the Cabinet last month,

Following on from this, I am now pleased to announce two new appointments to the county council’s Cabinet.  Mike Sutherland, who represents Etchinghill and Heath, takes up the role of Cabinet Member for Finance and Gill Burnett, who represents Kidsgrove, takes over from Mike as Cabinet Support Member for Adult Safeguarding.

I am delighted that both Mike and Gill are taking up these two important roles and although they are both new to the county council they bring with them a wealth of experience in local politics.  With a growing ageing population funding of social care, proactively managing the financial challenges and of course safeguarding the most vulnerable in our communities continue to be key priorities for the council.

The full cabinet membership now is:

Philip Atkins – Leader of the Council. Philip will also take on responsibility for Corporate Matters

Alan White – Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Health, Care and Wellbeing

Gill Heath – Cabinet Member for Communities

Mark Deaville – Cabinet Member for Commercial

Mike Sutherland – Cabinet Member for Finance

Mark Sutton – Cabinet Member for Children and Young People

Mark Winnington – Cabinet Member for Economic Growth

Gill Burnett – Cabinet Support Member for Adult Safeguarding

Helen Fisher – Cabinet Support Member for Highways and Transport

Philip White – Cabinet Support Member for Learning and Employability


After all the stress of school exams in July, we are now in the midst of exam results season.  Last week saw students across the county receive their A Level results, allowing them to make important decisions about their future career.  There is now more choice than ever for education after A-Levels, whether it’s through university, college or apprenticeships.  We know not everyone is suited to pursuing an academic path, so it’s important they get the right advice and guidance to make sure the path they take is the right one for them.

Every young person in the county should be proud of their achievements, and I want to wish those who received their A Level results last week every success in the future, whatever path they take.  Similarly, I would like to wish those received their GCSE results this Thursday (August 24) the very best of luck.

The county council’s website has a wealth of information about choosing the right path after A-Levels.  Visit to learn more.

UK Corporate Games to return to the county

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Sports and leisure has always played an important role in society and a strong offer has the ability to generate visitors, jobs and prosperity for an area. Not to mention the well-documented benefits of healthy and active lifestyles for local communities.

That’s why in recent years we have been actively pursuing a number of high profile sporting events like IRONMAN, Women’s Tour cycling and the UK Corporate Games that all help promote the county to a global audience.

Built on the highly successful 2015 UK Corporate Games held in the area, we have deservingly been chosen to host the games again next year, beating off stiff competition from other major UK cities.   The last Games in 2015 attracted not only local firms but some of the UK’s top companies.

Over 5,000 competitors  took part in the long weekend of sports and leisure helping generate an estimated £3m for the local economy. Just as important we got the chance to showcase the areas inward investment potential to top company executives to help bring jobs to the county.  I would certainly encourage our Staffordshire based businesses of all sizes to get involved. 

Any companies interested in taking part in the games which will take place from 21 – 24 June 2018 are welcome to a special celebration launch event on 4 October at Keele Hall from 6.30pm. Companies can register or find out more at www.corporate-games.comYou can also watch a 2018 UK Corporate Games video here.

New Deputy Leader for the Council

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

As some of you may already be aware, Ian Parry took the decision to step down from the Cabinet and Deputy Leader in July to focus on a new role with the Centre for Public Scrutiny.  Those of you who know Ian, firstly in his role as a county councillor for the Stone Rural area and then as Cabinet member for Finance and Corporate Matters, will have witnessed first-hand his commitment and determination in making the council a stronger organisation.  I would like to thank Ian personally for the great contribution he has made during his time in both opposition and in our Cabinet and I am sure people will join me in wishing him well in  his new role.

Replacing Ian as Deputy Leader, is Alan White who was elected by his fellows at a meeting of the Conservative group this week.  Alan is the Cabinet Member for Health, Care and Wellbeing and during his time on Cabinet, has brought great clarity and vision to the hugely complex and challenging area of health and social care and before that as Chairman of Corporate Review.

Alan possesses great determination to help improve the lives of people in Staffordshire and I have no doubt he will bring this drive and enthusiasm to his new role.  Alan, who represents Lichfield Rural East, will continue to lead on health and social care as part of his new role.  I’m sure people will join me in welcoming him to the new role.