TWO well-known members of the Isle of Wight Council cabinet are to step down following a reshuffle.
Social care and housing member Cllr Roger Mazillius will retire on November 26, to be replaced by Cllr Stuart Hutchinson, and Cllr Barry Abraham, responsible for fire, culture and residents’ services, will step down on September 3.
His role will be partly taken on by Cllr Dave Stewart, who will be responsible for community services, such as libraries and youth services, public health and community safety.
"I will miss the camaraderie of what is a marvellous cabinet but I’ve had a good run," said Cllr Mazillius, adding he would continue as ward councillor.
"There are some very good people who would like to take up the cudgels and I believe they can do a good, or even better, job,"
Cllr Abraham, who has overseen the transformation of the fire service, said it had been a great honour to serve on the cabinet but he wanted to focus on his family-run farm and campsite. Any decision to step down as ward councillor would be revealed to residents first, he said.
Council leader Cllr David Pugh thanked them for their service and said he was sorry to see them go but welcomed the opportunity to draw on the skills of his new members.
Cllrs Stewart and Hutchinson are the newest members of the Conservative group, elected in 2010 and 2011 respectively, but Cllr Pugh said their inexperience was not a concern.
"Both Cllrs Stewart and Hutchinson will bring many years of experience — in the police force and local government respectively — to the cabinet, offering fresh perspectives to our decision making," he said.
In a further reshuffle of roles, Cllr Abraham’s fire service responsibilities will be taken on by highways, transport and waste member Cllr Edward Giles, who will also take on contract procurement from deputy leader and economy member Cllr George Brown.