Councillor Dave Merrett has been removed as transport boss of York City Council. Councillor leader James Alexander has released a statement with the news. He said:
"I have always ensured all members of the Cabinet had responsibilities that made best use of their talents and efforts as required. It is a difficult time for all local authorities and I rely heavily in meeting this challenge on my Deputy Coun. Tracey Simpson-Laing.
“These new Cabinet portfolios will give me the opportunity to rely on her even further whilst showing how important we believe tackling crime and anti-social behaviour is. We will focus on York's local elections standing on our record to stop a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition taking control of the council. Coun. Dave Merrett will gain the opportunity to focus further attention on environmental issues, in which he has exceptional knowledge and experience”.
Coun. Merrett will take up the new portfolio of Environmental Services, Planning and Sustainability whilst Coun. David Levene will become Cabinet Member for Transport.
Coun. Dave Merrett also spoke out at the change of position. He said:
"I have contributed over many years to transport in this city and tried to meet the growing challenges of a growing city head on. However, building a new consensus on transport needs a new face. There is an intense period ahead delivering the Local Plan and I welcome the support Coun. Alexander has shown me in asking me to turn my efforts to new challenges in Environmental Services, Planning and Sustainability - especially with regards to improving recycling."
Coun. Tracey Simpson-Laing will take up the new portfolio of Homes and Safer Communities, replacing Coun. Linsay Cunningham-Cross on North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Panel. Coun. Cunningham Cross will take up the new portfolio of Health and Community Engagement and will Chair the city’s Health and Wellbeing Board.