Newport councillor hits back after call for her post to go
A NEWPORT council cabinet member has made only one formal decision since she was appointed in May.
But Labour councillor Deb Davies, cabinet member for skills and work, has defended herself saying she was working to help get unemployed people back into work.
One opposition councillor suggested the council could save money - and Stow Hill library - by slimming down the size of the cabinet.
According to information obtained by Tory councillor David Fouweather at the end of February, Cllr Davies has taken one formal decision since her appointment.
Paul Cockeram, cabinet member for social care and wellbeing, made two, while cabinet member for licensing and statutory functions, Gail Giles, made four.
Cabinet member for leisure and culture Debbie Wilcox made seven while the cabinet members for regeneration, John Richards, the cabinet member for education and young people, Bob Poole, and the cabinet member for human resources and assets, Mark Whitcutt, made 12 each.
The cabinet member for infrastructure Cllr Ken Critchley made 16. The list was produced on March 4.
Cllr Davies said decisions were a "rather simplistic analysis" of what her job is about, adding: "The one decision I made was a fundamental funding issue, made to ensure the right support mechanisms and arrangements are in place for people to access the work place.
"We're trying to reduce the number of people who are unemployed and excluded from the job market. I meet other cabinet members, I liaise regularly with the unions and I meet with local businesses."
She said her work helped secure 12 to 20 apprenticeships as a result with a railway firm. Cllr Davies also works as a volunteer business manager for the Labour group.
Cabinet members earn an extra £15,605 on top of the councillor's basic allowance of £13,175 a year.
Cllr Fouweather suggested that, with only £13,000 set to be saved from closing Stow Hill library, leader Bob Bright should reduce his cabinet by one member.
"The cabinet member for skills and work has only taken one decision since May 2012 suggesting that this cabinet position is not busy," he said.
"Therefore I do not think that it is unreasonable for the work of this cabinet member to be divided amongst others and the savings achieved used to fund Stow Hill library."
Newport council did not responded to requests to comment.