New chairman at county council

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A RESHUFFLE at Northumberland County Council has seen a new chairman elected and several members of its executive take on new responsibilities.

Coun George Todd succeeds Coun Marcia Bircham, becoming the third chairman since the unitary council was formed in 2009.

Coun Bircham, of the Wansbeck Haydon ward, is standing down after her year in office,

Coun Todd, ward representative for Bedlington West, was voted in as chairman at the county council’s annual general meeting last week.

Coun Jim Smith, of Berwick East, is the council’s new vice-chairman.

As chairman, Coun Todd, a councillor for 20 years, will be the civic figurehead of the council and carry out community and ceremonial duties.

During his one-year appointment, he will also be responsible for presiding over council meetings.

Coun Todd said: “It is a great privilege and honour to be elected as the new chairman of Northumberland County Council.

“I am really looking forward to my year in office, acting as a champion and ambassador for Northumberland and the council and meeting many new and interesting people around the county.”

Three new members have also joined the council’s executive.

Coun Neil Bradbury, of Prudhoe West, replaces Coun Smith as member for customer relations and culture.

Coun Isabel Hunter, of Berwick West with Ord, takes over from Coun Alan Armstrong, of Cramlington Village, as a member for infrastructure and environment.

Coun Anita Romer, of Hartley, takes on the responsibility for health and public protection from Coun Alan Thompson, of Newbiggin Central and East.

Morpeth Stobill representative Coun Ian Lindley, previously responsible for neighbourhood services, will take over the portfolio for adult care and wellbeing from Coun Simon Reed, of Wansbeck Bothal, as he is stepping down from the executive.

Coun Thompson takes over from Coun Lindley as executive member for neighbourhood services and highways.