COUNCIL leader Derek Long has unveiled his new-look Cabinet - which sees a reduction to eight members.

The announcement sees former deputy leader Cllr Andy Bowden return to the top team at the town hall.

Meanwhile, Billinge & Seneley Green councillor, Joe Pearson, who has been the mayor for the past 12 month, will take on the portfolio for Developing Young People.

And Haydock councillor Anthony Burns makes a return to Cabinet as member for Community Focused Services.

The council says that the reduction to eight portfolio responsibilities is intended to enable senior politicians to focus on the key challenges the borough faces.

Portfolio titles have been made clearer for residents as Cllr Long says he hopes to strengthen the Cabinet’s working and public accountability.

He described his top team as having “St Helens’ interests written in their DNA”.

Cllr Long, who survived a leadership challenge this month, said: “This is a new and energetic team. Their job is quite simply to make St Helens the borough where people want to live, work and invest.

“With a 40 per cent smaller budget, this is a huge challenge – but we’re already working to make a difference.”

The leader added: “Yes, I’ve picked a strong team of experienced politicians. But more importantly, they have St Helens’ interests written in their DNA.

“The quality stretches beyond the Cabinet with experienced councillors joining key bodies in the city region, to speak out on residents’ behalf on fire, police, waste and public transport.”

Cllrs Marlene Quinn, Anthony Johnson, Lynne Clark and Gill Neal have retained previous portfolios, with some new components added.

The full Cabinet is as follows:

  • Chair and Council Leader Derek Long
  • Better Neighbourhoods Lynne Clarke
  • Developing Young People Joe Pearson
  • Adult Care and Support Marlene Quinn
  • Balanced Development, Housing and Economic Opportunity Andy Bowden
  • Community Focused Services Anthony Burns
  • Better Health, Cultural Development Gill Neal
  • Collaborative Services Anthony Johnson