OXFORDSHIRE County Council’s top table is now bigger after Ian Hudspeth unveiled his new cabinet.

The number of councillors on the county’s executive has increased from nine to 10 and roles have been shaken up.

At yesterday’s full council meeting, Mr Hudspeth was re-elected as leader of the council and immediately appointed Rodney Rose as his deputy.

Former adult services cabinet member Arash Fatemian will take on the finance portfolio and will oversee millions of pounds of cuts already agreed by the council in its budget.

The 31-year-old said: “These are challenging times for local government and I hope I can serve all residents of Oxfordshire well as I look after our county’s finances.

“I’m grateful to the leader for his continued confidence in me.”

Louise Chapman, 43, who previously held the cabinet post for children’s services, will take on a new role co-ordinating policy for the council.

She said: “It’s a new challenge for me. I have been doing children’s services for eight years and I think Ian wanted to refresh my role a bit.

“Part of my responsibility will be for the corporate plan, looking right across the council to make sure the way we’re doing things in the way people want us to be.”

Nick Carter will continue to be in charge of business and communications while Melinda Tilley will continue to be cabinet member for education, with new responsibilities for children’s services.

The 69-year-old said: “Within children’s services there are a few things I would like to get sorted out.

“For example, every county councillor is a corporate parent to all the children we have in care, and I want to make sure they all know that.”

Hilary Biles will remain in the cabinet with a new brief for public health and the voluntary sector, while Judith Heathcoat will become cabinet member for adult social care.

Mrs Biles said she was “absolutely delighted” with the new role.

Lorraine Lindsay-Gale will return to the cabinet to take on a community services role, and newcomer David Nimmo-Smith will be cabinet member for environment, with responsibilities for highways.

Henley councillor Mr Nimmo-Smith, 63, said he would relish the new challenge of being on the cabinet.

He added: “I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a challenge.

“I am a civil engineer by trade and the portfolio includes things like transport, minerals and the environment, so I should be as well placed as anybody to deal with the technical side of it.”

Mrs Lindsay-Gale, 66, said she was pleased to be returning to the cabinet.

She said: “My portfolio is community and cultural services, which includes libraries, tourism and heritage. I am an archaeologist so it should be right up my street.”

The increase takes the cabinet up to the strength it was last year before veteran councillor Charles Shouler stood down from the finance post.

Cabinet members are paid £20,736.96 each, apart from the deputy leader, who is paid £24,883.92 and the leader, who gets £33,178.92.


  • Ian Hudspeth, 53
    Division: Woodstock
    Role: Council leader
    Responsibilities: Strategy, external partnerships,
    regional issues, economic development
    Previous cabinet roles: Transport, finance, leader (since 2012)
  • Rodney Rose, 65
    Division: Charlbury and Wychwood
    Role: Deputy leader
    Responsibilities: Internal management, human resources,
    strategic rail, fire control, emergency planning
    Previous cabinet roles: Transport
  • Arash Fatemian, 31
    Division: Deddington
    Role: Cabinet member for finance
    Responsibilities: Finance
    Previous cabinet roles: Adult services
  • Hilary Biles
    Division: Chipping Norton
    Role: Cabinet member for public health and the voluntary sector
    Responsibilities: Public health, the community and voluntary sector
    Previous cabinet roles: Growth and infrastructure
  • Judith Heathcoat
    Division: Faringdon
    Role: Cabinet member for adult social care
    Responsibilities: Adult social care
    Previous cabinet roles: Safer, stronger communities
  • David Nimmo-Smith, 63
    Division: Henley
    Role: Cabinet member for environment
    Responsibilities: Strategic planning, minerals strategy,
    waste management, environmental management, transport
    Previous cabinet roles: None
  • Louise Chapman, 43
    Division: Hanborough and Minster Lovell
    Role: Cabinet member for policy co-ordination
    Responsibilities: Policy, fire and rescue, trading standards,
    equalities, localities, community cohesion
    Previous cabinet roles: Children and the voluntary sector
  • Melinda Tilley, 69
    Division: Kingston and Cumnor
    Role: Cabinet member for children, education and families
    Responsibilities: Education and children’s services
    Previous cabinet roles: Education
  • Nick Carter
    Division: Thame and Chinnor
    Role: Cabinet member for business and customer services
    Responsibilities: Customer services, communications, ICT,
    support for small and medium employers, property
    Previous cabinet roles: Business and communications
  • Lorraine Lindsay-Gale, 66
    Division: Berinsfield and Garsington
    Role: Cabinet member for community services
    Responsibilities: Registration service, libraries, Coroner’s service,
    adult learning, cultural services, tourism
    Previous cabinet roles: Growth and infrastructure