Herefordshire Council’s Leader and Chair elected and committee chairs appointed

Full Council met in person today (Friday 28 May 2021) for the first time since the start of the pandemic. The meeting took place at Hereford’s Three Counties Hotel which provided enough space to enable social distancing, to decide on how Herefordshire Council will be governed in the 2021/22 municipal year.

Councillor Hitchiner has been elected Leader of Herefordshire Council.

Councillor Bowen has been elected as Chairperson of the Council and Councillor Guthrie is Vice-Chairperson of the Council.

Full Council appointed Herefordshire Council’s committee chairs, confirmed as:

  • Adults and wellbeing scrutiny committee

Chairperson: Councillor Elissa Swinglehurst / Vice-Chairperson: Councillor Trish Marsh

  • Audit and governance committee       

Chairperson: Councillor Nigel Shaw / Vice-Chairperson: Councillor Christy Bolderson

  • Children and young people scrutiny committee     

Chairperson: Councillor Phillip Howells / Vice-Chairperson: Councillor Jennie Hewitt

  • Employment panel committee  

Chairperson: Councillor David Hitchiner / Vice-Chairperson: Councillor Ellie Chowns

  • General scrutiny committee     

Chairperson: Councillor Jonathan Lester / Vice-Chairperson: Councillor Tracy Bowes

  • Planning and regulatory committee   

Chairperson: Councillor Terry James / Vice-Chairperson: Councillor Alan Seldon

  • Licensing sub-committee         

Chairperson: Councillor Alan Seldon


Full Council also has also approved the Report of the Herefordshire Independent Remuneration Panel which makes recommendations on councillor’s allowances. The report analysed allowances paid by similar local councils across the country for comparison and found that Herefordshire Council pays the 9th (out of 10) lowest basic allowance within the cohort of comparator local authorities. 

The recommendations made by independent panel are based on the principles of the Dame Jane Roberts Councillor's Commission, which encourages people from a wide range of backgrounds to serve as local councillors, to compensate councillors for their work and have regard to the full range of commitment and complexity of their roles, while providing transparency and observing benchmarks. The revised scheme will come into effect after the next elections in 2023.


Following Full Council, Councillor David Hitchiner as Leader announced changes to Cabinet Member portfolios:

Councillor Liz Harvey’s portfolio has been broadened to include planning. Councillor Harvey is now Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate Services and Planning. She is also the Deputy Leader of the Council.

Councillor Diana Toynbee is Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Safeguarding and Corporate Parenting and the lead member in accordance with the Children’s Act 2004. The recent court judgment has identified a greater need for focus and oversight of the council’s children’s social care. This more focused Cabinet portfolio will provide additional capacity and allow for greater accountability across Children’s Services.

Councillor Felicity Norman is Cabinet Member for Young People’s Education and Attainment and for post-16 education, training and skills development. This role is crucial following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our young people and to ensure that the county’s education and skills are aligned and delivered effectively.

The new Cabinet will come into effect from Tuesday 1 June 2021:

  • Councillor David Hitchiner - Leader of Herefordshire Council / Corporate strategy and budget
  • Councillor Liz Harvey – Deputy Leader of Herefordshire Council / Finance, Corporate Services and Planning
  • Councillor Diana Toynbee - Children’s Services, Safeguarding and Corporate Parenting
  • Councillor Felicity Norman - Young People’s Education, Attainment and Skills
  • Councillor Gemma Davies - Commissioning, Procurement and Assets
  • Councillor Ellie Chowns - Environment and Economy
  • Councillor Pauline Crockett - Health and Adult Wellbeing
  • Councillor John Harrington - Infrastructure and Transport
  • Councillor Ange Tyler - Housing, Regulatory Services and Community Safety

Published: 28th May 2021