A cabinet reshuffle at Lancashire County Council has seen the man responsible for the region’s roads appointed as deputy leader of the authority.
Keith Iddon will retain his highways and transport portfolio as he takes the job as second in command at County Hall.
He replaces Albert Atkinson who moves to the new brief of technical services, rural affairs and waste management – which was previously combined with the deputy role.
Council leader Geoff Driver paid tribute to his “sterling work as deputy leader of the Conservative group in both administration and opposition and the great support he has given to me”.
Phillippa Williamson steps up to a cabinet role, as member for children, young people and schools. She replaces Susie Charles who has left the cabinet to become deputy chairman of the authority.
Meanwhile, Paul Rigby was installed as the chairman for the next municipal year at County Hall. Nominating the member for Fylde South for the post, fellow councillor Edward Nash described him “as one of the most respected personalities in Fylde”.
“He joined this council the same year that Barack Obama was elected – and he has easily outlasted him,” County Cllr Nash joked.
County Cllr Rigby, who is from a large farming family, becomes the fiftieth chairman in the county council’s 130-year history.
“I feel really honoured that I have been elected as chairman and will do my very best to serve the county council to the best of my abilities – though I think it’s fair to say it will be in a slightly quieter manner than you have been accustomed to over the last twelve months.
“I would like to thank my predecessor [Anne Cheetham] for doing what can only described as a splendid job. She has been a terrific ambassador for the county council,” he added.
County Cllr Nash also thanked the outgoing chairman and told her she would be remembered particularly for her “wonderful array of hats”.
“Thank you for putting up with me,” County Cllr Cheetham smiled as she left the top table in the chamber for the final time.