Cabinet members steps down after networking event clash

St Helens Town Hall
St Helens Town Hall
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The councillor in charge of St Helens Council’s environmental service has stepped down - after missing a crucial meeting and instead attending a business networking event.

Former mayor Terry Shields stepped down from the position late last month.

Coun Lynn Clarke, of the town centre ward in St Helens, has been appointed to the cabinet to oversee the green, smart and sustainable portfolio

Coun Lynn Clarke, of the town centre ward in St Helens, has been appointed to the cabinet to oversee the green, smart and sustainable portfolio

He became mired in controversy after missing a cabinet meeting to discuss the introduction of three-weekly bin collections.

Coun Shields instead spoke at a business networking event in Leamington Spa where he detailed his rise from school drop-out to mayor of St Helens and successful businessman.

He also told the St Helens Reporter he was scheduled to be in the Warwickshire town to attend to legal matters relating to his recently deceased brother’s estate.

He was not paid to attend the event.

Following his resignation, council leader Barrie Grunewald has appointed town centre ward councillor Lynn Clarke to the role.

He said: “I’m delighted that Lynn has agreed to join the cabinet which takes the amount of women in senior roles within cabinet to an all-time record of six in the 100th anniversary since the suffrage movement.

“I know this will be a tough portfolio but I’m sure Lynn will be more than capable of handling it and I’m very much looking forward to working with her.”

Coun Clarke added: “I am very much looking forward to joining my council colleagues in cabinet.

“The portfolio will be a challenge but I’m hopeful that my years of experience working as an officer in local government will stand me in good stead to give me a full understanding of all the issues.

“I’m keen to get started.”