Suffolk: Axed health board chairman Joanna Spicer ‘surprised and upset’ after Suffolk County Council cabinet reshuffle

Joanna Spicer.

Joanna Spicer. - Credit: Contributed

The departing chairman of the Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Board has admitted she was “surprised and upset” when it was announced she had been replaced as part of a shake-up of the county council’s cabinet.

Alan Murray

Alan Murray - Credit: Archant

Council leader Mark Bee confirmed yesterday that Alan Murray, cabinet member for health and adult care, will take over the role from Joanna Spicer, stating it is ‘sometimes necessary’ to make changes to his cabinet.

There were three changes announced in total.

The health and wellbeing board encourages ‘intergrated working’ between health, care, police and other public services with the aim of improving the wellbeing of people in Suffolk.

Reacting to the news last night, Mrs Spicer said: “I am surprised and upset at this change which follows a considerable degree of turmoil in the conservative group and challenges to the leader who I supported.

“The ambitions of the Health and Wellbeing Board fit with all parts of the county council and should not be considered just about public health and social care.

“For nearly two years I have tried to lead the Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Board in an impartial way as a partnership of all eight councils, police, the NHS and the voluntary sector to focus on joint strategies and action plans to work together to improve health and wellbeing of all people in Suffolk.

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“I would like to thank board members for their enthusiasm and energy and terrific support for me.”

It was also announced that Tony Goldson had been appointed assistant cabinet member for health with immediate effect.

He replaces Anne Gower, who has stepped down as assistant cabinet member for health and adult care.

A separate assistant cabinet member for adult care is due to be appointed soon.

Mr Bee said: “From time to time, it’s necessary to make changes to my cabinet to reflect the ever changing nature of the challenges we face.

“I’d like to thank Anne Gower for her work supporting Alan Murray over these last few months.

“Joanna has devoted an enormous amount of time and energy to this role and I would like to thank her personally for all her work in this extremely important field.”

The other change made saw the responsibility for waste management transfer from Jenny Antill, cabinet member for resource management, to Rebecca Hopfensperger, cabinet member for localities and environment.