WARRINGTON Borough Council leader Cllr Russ Bowden has confirmed changes to his cabinet in a post-election reshuffle.

Labour retained control of the council in the all-out elections but the party lost seven seats – including three cabinet members.

The party now has 36 seats at the Town Hall.

The Liberal Democrats now have eight seats, after losing three, while the Tories have eleven seats after gaining 10. The independents won three seats.

Judith Guthrie, portfolio holder for environment and public protection, Rebecca Knowles, portfolio holder for statutory health and adult social care, and Matt Smith, portfolio holder for children’s services, lost their seats.

Cllr Paul Warburton (LAB – Chapelford and Old Hall) and Cllr Sarah Hall (LAB – Bewsey and Whitecross), who retained their seats, have been appointed to the cabinet by Cllr Bowden (LAB – Birchwood).

Cllr Warburton will take over statutory health and adult social care and Cllr Hall will take on children’s services.

Cllr Hitesh Patel, portfolio holder for transformation, remains in the cabinet but will be given a new post.

He will take on environment and public protection, with the transformation portfolio to be incorporated in the responsibilities of other cabinet members.

The cabinet will be reduced from 10 members to nine, with one spot yet to be filled.

Cllr Bowden confirmed it will be given to a female councillor, with an appointment to be made in the near future.

He described the three cabinet members who lost their seats as ‘absolute superstars’.

“We are very disappointed to have lost our colleagues in the election,” he added.

“I have spoken to those people who lost their seats, cabinet members and all the other councillors, to thank them for their service and the tremendous contributions that they have made for Warrington.

“I have also held conversations with other members about joining the cabinet.

“I have made two appointments initially on the back of those conversations and will announce the final appointment soon.

“We will be running with nine cabinet members for now.”