CHANGES are taking place among Cheshire East Council’s leadership after a stalwart councillor resigned from the cabinet.

Clr Hilda Gaddum has decided to step down as cabinet member in charge of children and family services due to family reasons.

But she will remain ward councillor for Sutton, where she has lived for more than 30 years.

Clr Gaddum has been replaced by Clr Paul Findlow, a former leader of Cheshire County Council.

The Prestbury ward member joins the cabinet in charge of corporate policy.

Council leader Michael Jones and deputy leader David Brown have used the opportunity to bring in new faces and introduce cross-party ‘policy development groups’.

Clr Jones says the move will strengthen the democratic process in the Tory-led authority by giving more members the chance to influence decisions.

He said: “Firstly, I would like to pay tribute to Clr Hilda Gaddum, who has served on this cabinet since 2010 and given a high standard of committed service and enthusiasm.

“While it is a loss to the cabinet, it has provided us with a way to reorganise the cabinet structure and I am delighted to welcome Clr Findlow to his post, who I am certain will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the position.

“When I first became leader, I pledged to make this a more inclusive council that listened to a wider range of voices.

“We are a council that seeks to work in partnership – across the political divide – for the benefit of all the people of Cheshire East.

“The new arrangements will enable far more members to influence policy, which strengthens the democratic process.”

On her resignation, Clr Gaddum said: “It is with great sadness that I have decided to step down from the cabinet.

“I have had some wonderful times and have faced some great challenges but I believe I have taken these on in the best way that I could.

“It has been such a privilege to work with the many officers from children and family services and I would just like to say a huge thank you to all these incredibly hard-working people.

“Now, I would like to spend more time with my family but I am still a councillor and will continue to help the people of Cheshire East with the issues that matter to them most.”

Clr Rachel Bailey will now take on Clr Gaddum’s cabinet responsibilities as part of the reshuffle but she will still be responsible for planning matters.