A NEW ruling cabinet for Swindon Borough Council has begun work this week.

It includes an entirely new cabinet post – the member for climate change. Keith Williams, who was previously responsible for operational excellence, moves over to that role.

It is the first time the council has had a specific cabinet post dedicated solely to fighting climate change.

Coun Williams will be expected to deliver on three specific pledges – including encouraging Swindon residents to recycle more of their waste and to ensure the borough council itself stops using single-use plastics this year.

The main pledge says the council will continue to develop or use technology which converts waste into energy, will help both itself and residents change over to electrified transport, and invest in renewable energy to reduce the town's carbon footprint.

Coun Williams’ position in the job of making sure the council runs as efficiently as possible is taken by a new member, Robert Jandy. The councillor for St Margaret and South Marston was first elected first in May 2019.

One of his jobs will be to oversee the council’s switch to providing online services in order to free up resources at its call-handling centre.

Other changes include council leader David Renard taking on responsibility for economic growth and Gary Sumner adding transport to his strategic infrastructure and panning portfolio.

Maureen Penny retains responsibility for highways and waste disposal.

A new and specific responsibility for Coun Renard is to “lead on the council’s response to the recovery from Covid-19".

He will be in charge of putting together a recovery plan for the town and its economy as lockdown begins to lift to try and ensure it bounces back quickly.

Other cabinet posts and holders remain the same, with some tweaks to titles.

Russell Holland remains deputy leader and member for commercialisation and education and skills, while Dale Heenan retains the town centre, heritage and culture job.

The council’s two man statutory functions, children’s services and adults and health, are held by Mary Martin and Brian Ford respectively.

Cathy Martyn retains housing and public safety, though it is re-badged as safer communities.