Dunmow and Stansted councillors not in new Essex County Council cabinet

A montage: a woman on the left - Sue Barker - and a man on the right - Ray Gooding

Councillors Susan Barker (L, Dunmow) and Ray Gooding ( R, Stansted) - Credit: Genesis PR/Essex County Council

The county councillor for Dunmow, Susan Barker, said she is disappointed not to feature on the draft cabinet list amid an Essex-wide shake-up.

Essex County Council's cabinet - and new leader Cllr Kevin Bentley - are set to be formally approved over the next fortnight.


Councillor Susan Barker, Conservative councillor for Dunmow - Credit: Archant

Before last Thursday's elections (May 6), both Cllr Barker and neighbouring Stansted councillor Ray Gooding served on the Conservative cabinet.

Both are not expected to join the new Tory cabinet despite their re-election.

A group of people huddled around a ballot box with paperwork

Councillors Barker and Gooding were re-elected on Thursday, May 6. Picture: Will Durrant - Credit: Archant

Cllr Barker is the outgoing cabinet member for Customer, Communities, Culture and Corporate.

She said: "I'm a bit disappointed.

"There is a new leader and with that comes new people. In a cabinet system, that's what you buy into."

Cllr Barker praised Cllr Kevin Bentley for appointing three woman to the cabinet where there had previously been just two. 

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Cllr Bentley is the Conservative councillor for Stanway and Pyefleet and replaces David Finch as leader.

He drew up the cabinet under the headline: "Ambition, Renewal, Equality".

Cllr Barker added: "I will have much more time to deal with the issues residents raise with me now."

These issues, she said, included road maintenance and speeding in villages such as Hatfield Heath and Leaden Roding.

Cllr Barker's roles have been merged into several other cabinet positions.

Cllr Ray Gooding led the council's Education and Skills strategy before the election.

He said: "Thank you to everybody who supported me for another term on the county council.

"I am looking forward to working in all the areas that the council has to offer, and working on some of the issues which my residents have raised with me as well."

Cllr Ray Gooding, Cabinet Member for Education. Picture: Essex County Council

Councillor Ray Gooding, Conservative councillor for Stansted - Credit: Essex County Council

Cllr Gooding's former position has been renamed Education Excellence, Skills and Training and will now be held by Cllr Tony Ball from Wickford North.

None of the new cabinet members represent Essex Electoral Divisions within Uttlesford district.

Cllr Graham Butland from neighbouring Three Fields with Great Notley is expected to lead Devolution, Art, Heritage and Culture.

Three Fields with Great Notley: Graham Butland (Conservative Party) is standing in the Essex County Council election

Conservative councillor Graham Butland is expected to be named the council's cabinet member for Devolution, Art, Heritage and Culture. - Credit: Conservative Party

He said devolution is firmly on the national and regional agenda.

Cllr Butland said: "I am delighted to be a part of that."