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Cabinet reshuffle at Labour-run Ealing Council as Councillors Wall and Raza stand down

Labour-run Ealing Council has confirmed changes have been made to its cabinet this week following the annual general meeting of Ealing Labour. Two of its cabinet councillors have stood down and been replaced while a reshuffle has seen other cabinet members move to other roles.

Councillor Lauren Wall previously Cabinet member for genuinely affordable homes stood down in March 2023 for personal reasons and is now being replaced by Cabinet member for decent living incomes Councillor Bassam Mahfouzh.

Councillor Aysha Raza previously Cabinet member for tackling inequality has also stood down and is replaced by Councillor Jasbir Anand current Cabinet member for thriving communities

In a letter to Council leader Councillor Peter Mason in March 2023 which the has now been made public, Councillor Wall wrote: “I remain strongly committed to the renewed and inspiring vision that you, as leader, have shown for the improvement of our borough, and I have been very pleased to have been part of this.

“I am personally particularly proud of our many achievements since 2021, despite significant financial and capacity challenges and pressures as a direct result of the pandemic. Our resolve to refer ourselves to, and work with, the Regulator of Social Housing, with urgency, to address the shortcomings we discovered in relation to the health and safety of council tenants, was particularly salient for me.

“We also radically improved the way we allocate council homes in Ealing, brought our Housing Revenue Account back onto a stable footing, all without losing sight of our ambition to build the genuinely affordable homes that Ealing residents so desperately need. I know that Councillor Mahfouz will take up the challenges of this role with energy and commitment, and I look forward to supporting him – and you – as he does so.”

On 15 May 2023, on Facebook, Councillor Raza announced she was standing down by posting: “As the first Muslim cabinet member it has been an honour and a privilege to serve the borough of Ealing as cabinet member for Tackling Inequality over the last two years, we have made much progress in delivering all our ambitious manifesto pledges.

“I am very proud to have delivered on our A Safer Ealing for Women listening exercise with an MVAWG strategy and our work with supporting refugees that have chosen to make Ealing their home. In youth service and youth justice we have been exemplary in supporting the creative arts and keeping our young people out of the criminal justice system.

“We are well on our way to delivering on the demands of the Ealing Race Equality Commission with the Citizens Tribunal meetings up and running, and the Ealing for Everyone pledge is on the cusp of delivery. As chair of the Safer Ealing Partnership and meetings with the police commissioner I have kept the pressure on the police service to give Ealing our fair share of resources, our dedicated Superintendent is now in post. Ealing Labour will always have my unwavering support as we go forward.

“Thank you to members of Labour group & council officers for their support. I look forward to spending more time on the patch and delivering for the residents of Central Greenford.”

Council leader Peter Mason said: “I want to thank both Councillor Lauren Wall and Councillor Aysha Raza for the contributions they have made, driving forward our collective commitment to improving the lives of Ealing residents, and ensuring that everyone in our borough has the opportunities they need to realise their potential.

“I am particularly grateful for Councillor Wall’s forensically fair approach to changing the way we manage our housing stock in the borough, and to Councillor Raza’s work with the Race Equality Commission and subsequent Citizen’s Tribunal to tackle racial inequality in Ealing.

“I warmly welcome Councillor Louise Brett and Councillor Polly Knewstub, who have accepted cabinet roles that directly address two of this administration’s key priorities – creating good jobs and putting residents at the centre of our decision making. I, the rest of the cabinet and council officers look forward to working with both Louise and Polly.

“Cabinet as a whole will retain focus on making positive change for Ealing residents, as we outlined in our 2022 Council Plan.”

Councillor Louise Brett, incoming cabinet member for decent living incomes said: “The opportunity to earn a decent living income is the foundation for so much in life, and yet too many of our residents face precarious working conditions and multiple barriers to entering the workforce.

“I’d like to thank Councillor Mason for asking me to become part of his cabinet. I’m excited to hit the ground running and continue Cllr Mahfouz’s work to create 10,000 new, good jobs in Ealing by 2026, to support those residents facing the toughest barriers to employment and continue to enforce against businesses who break the rules.”

Councillor Polly Knewstub, who will take on the thriving communities portfolio said: “I’m thrilled to be taking on the thriving communities brief as a member of Councillor Mason’s cabinet. Building on Cllr Anand’s achievements over the last two years, I look forward to progressing our work to empower local communities to be part of the decisions that affect them through Town Forums, and to re-designing and delivering a new, state-of-the-art leisure centre at Gurnell.”

From 24 May 2023 the cabinet will be:

Leader – Cllr Peter Mason
Deputy Leader and climate action – Cllr Deirdre Costigan
Decent living incomes – Cllr Louise Brett (new to cabinet)
Inclusive economy – Cllr Steve Donnelly
Genuinely affordable and safe homes – Cllr Bassam Mahfouz (Formerly cabinet member for decent living incomes)
Good growth and new homes – Cllr Shital Manro
Thriving communities – Cllr Polly Knewstub (new to cabinet)
A fairer start – Cllr Kamaljit Nagpal
Tackling inequality – Cllr Jasbir Anand (formerly cabinet member for thriving Communities)
Healthy lives – Cllr Josh Blacker

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