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Clancy reshuffles the reshuffle as Jenkins drops out of cabinet

Clancy reshuffles the reshuffle as Jenkins drops out of cabinet

🕔20.May 2016

Birmingham city council leader John Clancy has been forced to reshuffle his cabinet for a second time in a week after one of the people he promoted said she couldn’t find the time to do the job.

Hall Green councillor Kerry Jenkins was selected as cabinet member for value for money and efficiencies when Cllr Clancy named his top team at the start of the week.

But the Labour council leader was forced to think again when Cllr Jenkins, who works for the Unite union as a development assistant, told him she couldn’t arrange sufficient time off from her employer to do the cabinet job.

Cllr Clancy quickly promoted Northfield councillor Brett O’Reilly to the cabinet, giving him the jobs and skills portfolio. That involved a second move, shifting Hodge Hill councillor Majid Mahmood from jobs and skills to value for money and efficiencies.

It is unclear when Cllr Jenkins realised Unite would not allow her sufficient time to be a cabinet member, or why the union appeared unwilling to allow a Labour councillor to find the time for a cabinet job.

She took to social media at the start of the week, stating that she was looking forward to getting to grips with her cabinet role.

Then, in a statement on her Twitter account, Cllr Jenkins said she had been “unable to make the necessary arrangements to enable me to commit fully to the time requirements of the position”.

She said she was “really disappointed” and added “sometimes it’s just not meant to be”.

Cllr Clancy said:

I am grateful of Kerry’s honesty with me and thank her for the approach she has taken in trying to secure the time commitment that is required to serve as a cabinet member at Birmingham city council.

I believe I have a cabinet of leaders and I firmly believe that in Brett O’Reilly I’m adding a talented young leader to the team.

None of the prospective members of Cllr Clancy’s cabinet have formally taken up their posts yet and will not do so until after the council’s annual meeting on May 24.

The appointment of Cllr O’Reilly may leave Cllr Clancy open to the accusation that his cabinet is short of women – three out of 10 members are female.

Sources close to the leader have predicted the imbalance will be addressed when Cllr Clancy names four assistant council leaders next month.

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