A new Tory leader of West Sussex County Council was officially confirmed this morning.
Paul Marshall has succeeded Louise Goldsmith, who stood down earlier this month after almost a decade in the role.
The switch followed on from a leaked report critical of the progress of children’s services since they were rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted back in May.
Since Mr Marshall was cabinet member for children and young people in the interim he will retain the statutory responsibility for children’s services, including schools.
He will support Jacquie Russell, who will take over his former portfolio.
She in turn will be succeeded by Duncan Crow, the new cabinet member for fire & rescue and communities.
Meanwhile Nigel Jupp is the new cabinet member for education and skills, taking over from Richard Burrett.
All other cabinet positions remain unchanged.
Mr Marshall, who was chosen as leader by the Conservative group on Monday and confirmed as leader by full council this morning, said: “I am very proud and honoured to be the new leader of West Sussex County Council at this important time for our residents and staff.
“My focus will be on delivering really good services to the residents of West Sussex.
“In particular my priorities are to make sure we make much-needed and significant improvements to our Children’s Services and our Fire and Rescue Service, and meet the growing demands on adult services.”
His background is in retail and he has held a number of positions at director level covering a range of areas including marketing, supply chain and strategic growth. He lives in Washington with his wife and two daughters.
Mr Marshall added: “My vision is to lead an authority that is open with the public about how it works, that welcomes scrutiny from all politicians and partners, and that creates a positive working environment for its staff.
“I look forward to the challenges ahead with determination and optimism, and in a spirit of collaboration.”