Cabinet reshuffle at Ealing Council

Image above: Ealing Council Leader Cllr Peter Mason (centre) with Cllr Polly Knewstub (left) and Cllr Louise Brett (right)

Two Councillors stand down in ‘amicable’ Cabinet reshuffle

Changes to the composition of Ealing Council’s Cabinet were officially recognised this week, at a meeting on Tuesday 23 May.

Cllrs Lauren Wall and Aysha Raza have stood down from their roles as cabinet members and have been replaced by Cllrs Louise Brett, who represents North Hanwell, and Polly Knewstub, who represents Hanwell Broadway.

Additionally, there has been some movement of existing Cabinet members between portfolios.

The Cabinet is now made up as follows:

• 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

Image above: Cllr Aysha Raza, Cllr Lauren Wall

“Honour and privilege to serve the borough of Ealing”, Cllr Raza

Cllr Wall had already indicated her intention to stand down earlier this year in March when she wrote to Council Leader Peter Mason. She said:

“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 Cllr 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.”

Councillor Raza said:

“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. I am very proud to have delivered on our Safer Ealing for Women listening exercise, and the work we have done to support refugees who have chosen to make Ealing their home.

“We have been exemplary in terms of keeping our young people out of the criminal justice system, and we are well on the way to delivering on the demands of the Ealing Race Equality Commission. I would also like to thank council officers for their dedication and hard work.”

Cllr Peter Mason thanks Clls Wall & Raza for their contributions

Council leader Peter Mason, thanked Councillors Wall and Raza and welcomed the newly appointed cabinet, saying:

“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.”

New Councillors “thrilled” to be part of Cabinet

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 Cllr 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.”