Kirklees Council's leaders handed new responsibilities during the pandemic

Kirklees Council’s Cabinet members have all been given reshaped roles to focus on leading key areas in the fight against coronavirus.

By Ian Hirst
Thursday, 16th April 2020, 2:24 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th April 2020, 2:25 pm

Leader of Kirklees Council, Councillor Shabir Pandor, has redesigned his Cabinet, giving members new priorities which focus on the issues that matter most in protecting lives, businesses and communities across the borough during the coronavirus pandemic.

Councillor Pandor said: “The challenges we are currently facing are like nothing we have dealt with before; they are unprecedented and on a global scale.

“Our lives have changed completely from what we are used to. Our economy has halted and there’s a fear of how we will be able to recover back to some form of normality and what scars will be left after we come out of this crisis. Then the challenge will be how we begin to heal the scars.

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Kirklees Council Cabinet members have been given new responsibilities

"The coronavirus pandemic is having a big impact on everything we do and on every resident in the borough. Within a matter of a few weeks we have shifted from business as usual to a position where lives are being lost with predictions that many more will be.

“Our priority right now is to keep people safe and to stay operational in the backdrop of all of this. Local government, including Kirklees, has moved mountains to do this and we have all been recognised and valued for the work we are continuing to do.

“Without these arteries of service provision we would have faced complete shut down and the crisis would have turned into something I can’t even imagine. All these brave workers, alongside so many others in our communities, have created a new and revived community spirit.

“We need to focus on the extreme challenges coronavirus is bringing and tackle them together. Our Cabinet will now devote its efforts and resources on leading us in overcoming these major tests until we’ve beaten the virus.

“These new Cabinet priorities will give us a devoted team to lead us through the coronavirus pandemic and will drive our long-term strategy to rebuild when the time comes.”

The changes mean existing Cabinet Members will take on new priorities until further notice. New areas of work include engaging and working with the voluntary sector in Kirklees and supporting local businesses. Several Cabinet Members will also work towards the council’s long-term strategy for the post-Coronavirus era.

New portfolios: overview:

Leader of Kirklees Council – Cllr Shabir Pandor

Leading the immediate response to the pandemic.

Leading recovery strategy.

Public Health.

Economy - Cllr Peter McBride

Immediate support to business.

Planning the post-pandemic inclusive economy.

Children - Cllr Viv Kendrick

Statutory responsibility for children’s social care

Adults - Cllr Musarrat Khan

Statutory responsibility for vulnerable adults

Schools - Cllr Carole Pattison

Working with schools to maintain services.

Planning for return to school.

Resources - Cllr Graham Turner

Financial oversight.

Staff wellbeing - Cllr Naheed Mather

Council staff

Communities and voluntary sector capacity (North Kirklees) - Cllr Cathy Scott

Engaging and supporting voluntary sector capacity for immediate responses to the pandemic.

Strengthening place-based working for the future.

Communities and voluntary sector capacity (South Kirklees) - Cllr Rob Walker

Engaging and supporting voluntary sector capacity for immediate responses to the pandemic.

Strengthening place-based working for the future.

The council is in the process of setting up virtual Cabinet meetings which will be accessible to the public