THE councillor lined up to be the new leader of Wyre Forest District Council has proposed reducing the number of cabinet members.

Councillor Graham Ballinger has sent a message to all council members to set out who he intends to appoint to the cabinet if he is elected as leader of the council at its Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, May 22.

In his message to members, Councillor Ballinger proposed to reduce cabinet from six to five members, which will save the council £7,000.

He also said that 60% of his proposed cabinet are women, reflecting the higher proportion of women elected to the council following the election on May 2.

Councillor Ballinger's proposed cabinet includes Councillor Fran Oborski MBE, as Deputy Leader and the member for Economic Regeneration, Planning and Capital Investments, Councillor Nicky Martin, as the member for Housing, Health, Well-being and Democratic Services, Councillor Helen Dyke, as the member for Culture, Leisure and Community Protection, and Councillor John Thomas, as the member for Operational Services.

Councillor Ballinger said: "It is important that there is a smooth transition as a result of this month’s elections and that there is transparency for Councillors and the public about what I am proposing in respect of membership of the cabinet.

"All the Councillors I intend to appoint have extensive experience as members of the District Council, either immediately before this month’s elections or in the past.

"In addition, three of us are or have been members of Worcestershire County Council. Together, we have built up over 100 years of service to the District Council and we will be able to call on this experience as the Progressive Alliance shapes its plans for the future of the Council.

"I am also proposing to reduce the Cabinet from six to five members, which will produce a financial saving of £7,000 for the Council. I am delighted that, reflecting the higher proportion of women elected to the Council on 2 May, 60% of my proposed Cabinet are women."