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Dorset Council key roles announced

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Following the recent local elections in Dorset which resulted in the Liberal Democrats winning control of Dorset Council, some key roles were agreed at the Annual Meeting of Dorset Council on Thursday 16 May.

Councillors were asked to vote on appointments to roles including Leader of the council, Chair and Vice Chair of the council and committee Chairs.

Cllr Nick Ireland has been appointed as Leader of the Council, with Cllr Richard Biggs as Deputy Leader. The Chair is Cllr Stella Jones and the Vice Chair is Cllr Les Fry.  

The new Cabinet is as follows:


  • Cllr Nick Ireland – Leader, Portfolio Holder for Governance, Performance, Communications, Environment, Climate Change and Safeguarding
  • Cllr Richard Biggs - Deputy Leader, Portfolio Holder for Property & Assets, Economic Growth & Levelling Up
  • Cllr Simon Clifford - Portfolio Holder for Finance & Capital Strategy
  • Cllr Ryan Holloway - Portfolio Holder for Corporate Development, Transformation, Digital & Change
  • Cllr Jon Andrews - Portfolio Holder for Place Commissioned Services (Highways, Waste, Travel, Leisure etc.)
  • Cllr Clare Sutton - Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, Education & Skills
  • Cllr Steve Robinson - Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care
  • Cllr Gill Taylor - Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Environmental Health, Housing, Community Safety and Regulatory Service
  • Cllr Shane Bartlett - Portfolio Holder for Planning and Emergency Planning
  • Cllr Ryan Hope - Portfolio Holder for Customer, Culture and Community Engagement 

Chairs of committees are agreed as follows:


  • People & Health Overview Committee – Cllr Beryl Ezzard
  • People & Health Scrutiny Committee – Cllr Toni Coombs
  • Place & Resources Overview Committee – Cllr Andy Canning
  • Place & Resources Scrutiny Committee – Cllr Noc Lacey-Clarke
  • Audit & Governance Committee – Cllr Gary Suttle
  • Appeals Committee – Cllr Andrew Starr
  • Harbours Advisory Committee – Cllr Rob Hughes
  • Licensing Committee – Cllr Derek Beer
  • Strategic & Technical Planning Committee – Cllr Duncan Sowry-House
  • Northern Area Planning Committee – Cllr Richard Crabb
  • Eastern Area Planning Committee – Cllr David Tooke
  • Western Area Planning Committee - - Cllr Dave Bolwell
  • Pension Fund Committee – Cllr Andy Canning

Cllr Nick Ireland, Leader of Dorset Council said:

“The new intake of elected members to Dorset Council has added to the strength and depth of skills already present and I’m pleased that the new Cabinet reflects this.

“The Liberal Democrats campaigned on a commitment to genuine cross-party working and that process has started tonight in the appointments that we have made. We will look to make decision making as local and democratic as possible; listening more to local residents and creating a genuine partnership with town and parish councils.”

A full list of all Dorset Council councillors is available on our website.

Categories: Democratic