Yarmouth council stalwart steps down

STEPHEN PULLINGER Long-serving Tory Bert Collins yesterday stepped down from Yarmouth Borough Council's cabinet in a post-election reshuffle.Mr Collins, who has presided over plans to introduce pavement cafes on the seafront - criticised by many traders because of delays, unwieldy regulations and charges up to 20 times those in Blackpool - is replaced by Graham Plant, previously chairman of the development control committee.

STEPHEN PULLINGER

Long-serving Tory Bert Collins yesterday stepped down from Yarmouth Borough Council's cabinet in a post-election reshuffle.

Mr Collins, who has presided over plans to introduce pavement cafes on the seafront - criticised by many traders because of delays, unwieldy regulations and charges up to 20 times those in Blackpool - is replaced by Graham Plant, previously chairman of the development control committee.

In a cost-cutting measure, the cabinet was slimmed from eight to six members with the waste and recycling and customer services portfolios disappearing.

Council leader Barry Coleman said: "The waste and recycling portfolio was always only intended to see in the new system of wheelie bins and by August the last areas of flats will have their communal bins.

"The customer services portfolio was to address particular problems we were encountering, for example with the Town Hall telephone system. The building blocks have now been put in place to solve those problems although there is still a considerable way to go."

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Also on the new cabinet are Barry Stone, who remains as deputy leader, Tony Smith (resources portfolio), Jim Shrimplin (environment) and Bob Peck (community or social housing).

Mr Coleman said the new cabinet would be focusing on improving customer service and some of the savings would be invested in training for councillors.

Charles Reynolds takes over as chairman of the development control committee with Mark Thompson replacing David Thompson as his deputy.