Top Councillor Quits Cabinet Role in Monmouthshire County Council
A TOP councillor has quit the cabinet role she carried out on a job share basis with another member.
Councillor Rachel Garrick had been Monmouthshire County Council’s cabinet member for resources since the Labour party won power at County Hall in May 2022.
She has shared the role with Llanfoist and Govilon councillor Ben Callard since October and he has taken responsibility for the council’s finances including the current budget plans, and proposed 7.5 per cent council tax rise, that are currently being consulted on.
Cllr Garrick – who is also a prominent supporter of Welsh independence and had lead a Labour campaign group advocating Wales leave the United Kingdom – is stepping down from her cabinet role due to “the significant expansion of her professional commitments in recent months”, according to a council statement.
Cllr Garrick, who will continue to serve as the local councillor for the Caldicot Castle ward, works as a senior manager in the nuclear industry. She holds degrees in genetics and physics and has worked in STEM for 25 years.
She hit the headlines last year when Conservative opposition leader, Cllr Richard John, criticised her for knitting while answering questions on budget cuts from a council committee.
Cllr Garrick said doing so helped her concentrate and deal with pain from a long-term health condition.
Council leader Mary Ann Brocklesby said: “Reluctantly and sadly, I accepted Rachel’s departure from cabinet. Our loss is the energy industry’s gain. Rachel has been a highly effective and formidable member of the cabinet since the start of the administration.
“She has brought her analytical skills and vast experience to the cabinet. Whilst we lose Rachel as a cabinet member, we are delighted she will be a role model as a woman in science and industry. We hope she inspires women in younger generations to follow paths into science and politics”.
Cllr Callard will now have full responsibility for the resources portfolio taking on responsibility for the council’s property and other assets from Cllr Garrick. The cabinet will now have seven members, including Green Party member Ian Chandler due to a coalition agreement between the parties.
Cabinet members are paid an additional £15,330 a year on top of the £16,800 paid to all councillors.
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