News release from 26/05/2022

New Council Cabinet and appointments confirmed

New Council Cabinet and appointments confirmed

The Councillors who will be on South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Cabinet have been confirmed.

The Annual Council Meeting is being today (Thursday 26 May 2022) at South Cambridgeshire Hall in Cambourne.

The Council Leader has been confirmed as Cllr Bridget Smith (Gamlingay ward). Bridget has been the Leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council for the past four years and the District Councillor for Gamlingay for the past 14 years. As leader of the Council, Bridget will sit on the boards of both the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and the Greater Cambridge Partnership. Other than local politics, Bridget’s passions are long distance walking, gardening, baking and spending time with her family. 

Cllr Judith Rippeth (Milton and Waterbeach ward) is the new Deputy Leader. Judith was first elected to the Council in 2018 and has served as Vice Chair of the Scrutiny and Overview Committee, as well as being a Member of the Planning Committee. Having previously lived in Waterbeach, Judith now lives in Milton. Judith is a trained secondary school English teacher, mother to three children and enjoys cycling and walking. As well as being Deputy Leader, Judith will oversee the Council’s shared services, transformation work and partnerships.

Cllr John Williams (Fen Ditton and Fulbourn ward) has been confirmed as Lead Cabinet Member for Resources, which will see him oversee areas such as finance, grants, and investments. First elected to the District Council back in 2010, and Lead Cabinet Member for Finance since 2018, John has lived in Fulbourn since 1989. Married with three grown up children, his interests are gardening, the arts and travelling. Retiring in 2008, he has experience of senior management positions in both the public and private sectors.

Cllr Dr. Tumi Hawkins (Caldecote ward) will continue in her role as Lead Cabinet Member for Planning, with responsibility for planning policy and development control. Tumi, who is originally from Nigeria, had a successful career in radio telecommunications before becoming involved in property and eCommerce. Tumi, a Chartered Engineer with a PhD, has lived with her family in Caldecote for 25 years, and enjoys singing, drumming and sewing.

Cllr Brian Milnes (Sawston ward) is named as Lead Cabinet Member for the Environment, with responsibilities for environmental services and licensing, waste, climate and the environment and sustainable travel. Brian has lived with his family in Sawston for 16 years, and prior to that lived in Bucks and Durham. He has had several careers, mostly in and around business building in the IT sector. Nowadays he is mostly doing business process re-engineering – translating old systems into IT enabled, high efficiency versions.

The Lead Cabinet Member for Communities is Cllr Bill Handley (Over and Willingham ward). He was first elected as a District Councillor in 2018. Originally from the East Midlands, he came to Cambridgeshire in 1985 via Hampshire to work for NIAB in arable crop field trials work, before taking early-retirement in 2016. Bill is a keen allotment-holder and gardener. Bill’s position will see him take responsibility for new towns, community resilience, health and wellbeing, arts, and culture.

The Lead Cabinet Member for Housing will remain Cllr John Batchelor (Linton ward). John was first elected to the District Council in 1998. He has held many senior positions at the Council, including Leader of the Opposition, Chair of Scrutiny and Chair of the Planning Committee. John has lived in Linton for more than 30 years with his wife Julie and son Henry, who is also a District Councillor for Linton ward. John’s business background is as a company director and management consultant.

The Lead Cabinet Member for Economic Development is Cllr Peter McDonald (Duxford ward). This includes responsibilities for business support, skills, and transport. Peter has led the establishment of the Council’s Business Support function in recent years, with a focus on SMEs. Peter is CEO of the Agricultural Biological Control Business Ecospray with activities in Europe, Africa, Asia and Middle East.

Council Leader, Cllr Bridget Smith, said: “We are focused on delivering our ambitious Business Plan priorities for our residents, and remain committed to growing local businesses and economies, housing that is truly affordable to live in, being green to our core and being a modern and caring Council. We have learned a great deal from our experiences during the past few years – not least how we have all had to come together to support our communities during COVID. These experiences are being called upon once again as the Council plays a key role in the Homes for Ukraine scheme locally.

“We are particularly looking to build upon our work to tackle climate change in the district – which has seen us recognised on the national stage with an accolade at the recent iESE Public Sector Transformation Awards and shortlisted as a finalist in the Leadership in Responding to the Climate Emergency category at the forthcoming local government MJ Awards. However, we of course realise the difficult times through which we are living – not least when it comes to the rising costs of food, fuel, and energy. We are committed to doing all we can as a Council to support our residents, communities and businesses.”

It was also confirmed at the annual meeting that Cllr Anna Bradnam will remain as Chair of the Council and Cllr Peter Fane will remain as Vice Chair.