New lead councillor portfolios and appointments were approved at the Reading Borough Council (RBC) annual meeting on 22 May at Reading Town Hall. In a reshuffle of portfolios and responsibilities, Minster ward councillor Ellie Emberson replaced Jason Brock, who is now leader of the council, as lead councillor for corporate and consumer services. Ellie Emberson was first elected in the 2018 local elections. The reshuffle also saw Karen Rowland, another new councillor in 2018, replace Sarah Hacker as the lead for culture, heritage and recreation.

In 2018, the portfolios of culture, sport and consumer services, and health were re-organised into three new portfolios of culture, heritage and recreation, health, wellbeing and sport, and corporate and consumer services. This increased the number of portfolios to nine. There have been no changes in the names or contents of portfolios this year.

Katesgrove councillor Sophia James keeps her neighbourhoods and communities portfolio.

All councillors receive a basic allowance of £8220 per annum. The leader receives an additional £7004, the deputy leader an extra £5722 and lead councillors an additional £3816. The mayor receives an extra £10200 per year and the deputy mayor an extra £2400. There are also allowances for committee chairs, deputy chairs, the leader of each opposition group, and to cover the care of children and dependants. Allowances for the year commencing 1 April 2019 were agreed at the RBC full council meeting in March.

Portfolios2019-20 lead councillor
2018-19 lead councillor
Adult social careCouncillor Tony JonesCouncillor Tony Jones
Children’s ServicesCouncillor Liz TerryCouncillor Liz Terry
Corporate and consumer servicesCouncillor Ellie EmbersonCouncillor Jason Brock
Culture, heritage and recreationCouncillor Karen RowlandCouncillor Sarah Hacker
EducationCouncillor Ashley PearceCouncillor Ashley Pearce
Health, wellbeing and sportCouncillor Graeme HoskinCouncillor Graeme Hoskin
HousingCouncillor John EnnisCouncillor John Ennis
Neighbourhoods and communitiesCouncillor Sophia JamesCouncillor Sophia James
Strategic environment, planning and transportCouncillor Tony Page (deputy leader of the council)Councillor Tony Page (deputy leader of the council)

Labour group leader Jason Brock said of the new team:

It will take effort, imagination and diligence to find ways to make this year a successful one for all our residents and I am confident that with Labour’s new executive team, backed up by all our hard-working councillors and supported by Reading’s many fantastic community groups, we can continue to stand up effectively for the people of Reading.

  1. RBC annual meeting 22 May 2019 – papers (not webcast)
  2. Interview with Katesgrove resident, Councillor Jason Brock
  3. RBC councillors and their allowances