A few hints about the new Labour Ealing cabinet were swirling around at last night’s council meeting. We know the leader will be Julian Bell and the chief whip Brian Reeves.
The finance portfolio will be taken by the old opposition Finance and Performance spokeswoman Yvonne Johnson. At the count Shittal Manro, a new-old councillor, was throwing his weight around and asking after reserves. At least Johnson has a bit of finesse. It may not stop her trying to clean out all the council’s reserves though.
My old portfolio is going to be taken by the old Labour shadow Kamaljit Dhindsa.
During his very confident maiden speech new boy Hitesh Tailor made reference to his taking over the housing portfolio. After last night’s meeting the portfolio holder will be known to all as Cllr Withani. On his Twitter profile Cllr Withani talks of being a housing researcher. In his past he has actually worked for Ealing as a housing officer. A case of poacher turned gamekeeper or a case of Labour being on the side of producer interests?
Another old shadow taking on a portfolio is Patricia Walker who is taking on Children’s. Cllr Walker is an academic, based at the University of East London, see her profile here. This is a big portfolio and one that is going to see huge change. It is also probably the portfolio that involves the highest risk decisions. Cllr Walker is given to using words such a “pedagogical” in her speeches. The word she will have to learn is no.