NEW Hillingdon Council leader Ian Edwards has announced Cllr Jonathan Bianco as his deputy in a reshuffle that follows the retirement of long-serving Sir Ray Puddifoot.

Cllr Bianco will also be the Cabinet Member for Property and Infrastructure.

Other cabinet members will be Cllr Martin Goddard (Finance), Eddie Lavery (Environment, Housing and Regeneration), Douglas Mills (Corporate Services and Transformation), Susan O’Brien (Families, Education and Wellbeing), Jane Palmer (Health and Social Care) and John Riley (Public Safety and Transport.

Labour opponents on the council criticised the choice of a fellow Conservative, Keith Burrows, to chair the Executive Scrutiny Committee.

The committee examines decisions taken by the cabinet and its chair decides which matters come before it.

Cllr Kerri Prince (Labour) said: “If there is something to hide, the chair may choose to block the question from being asked.

"Choosing someone from your own pool of supporters, to take on a key role which holds you to account, will prevent transparency and accountability." 

Labour failed with a motion at last night’s council meeting to persuade Hillingdon to do more to tackle nuisance from fireworks.