Key council cabinet roles and planning committees

There have been some noticeable changes to council leadership following the local elections, with new members of the cabinet and planning committee having influence over your development plans. So for those of you in the North West, we’ve summarised the ones to watch… 

Click on the names of councillors to get their contact details. 





Liverpool 02


Liverpool’s planning committee has 10 members and since the election there have been two changes. Labour’s Gerard Woodhouse and Irene Rainey make way for their colleagues, Tony Concepcion and Paul KenyonTricia O’Briencontinues to chair the committee.

Also on this committee is Joe Hanson, Mayoral Lead for Corporate & Organisation and Steve Radford, Leader of the Liberal Group.

The committee’s political balance is: 8 Labour, 1 Lib Dem, 1 Liberal.

Liverpool’s leader is (elected) Mayor Joe Anderson, while Cllr Gary Millar is Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Business, Economy and Skills.




Halton’s planning committee has 10 members all of whom are Labour councillors and it remains unchanged since the election. It’s actually called the Development Control Committee and chaired by long-standing councillor (1996) Paul Nolan. Notable members include Ron Hignett who has multiple council roles. He is Executive Member for the Physical Environment and sits on Halton’s Strategic Partnership Board and the Mersey Gateway Executive Board.

Another member, Bill Woolfallis on the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committee  and is chair of Halton’s Environment and Urban Renewal Policy and Performance Board.

The committee’s balance is 10 Labour.

Leader of the council is Cllr Rob Polhill who leads on Strategy and the Corporate Plan and Policy. Cllr Eddie Jones is Executive Member for Economic Development. 




Knowsley Council’s planning committee is huge, numbering 20, and dominated, as expected by the ruling Labour group. Since the election there have been six changes. Incoming have been Labour’s Harry BellColin DeverGillian Flatley and Margi O’Mara, Labour Co-Op’s Ken McGlashan and the Green Party’s Ronald Gaffney.

Chair is Frank Walsh, but also on this committee is St Helens leader, Labour’s Graham Morgan; and three other group grandees: Jayne Aston, Cabinet Member for Resources; Shelley Powell, Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods and Margaret Harvey, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services. Another member, David Lonergan is Chair of the Economic Growth and Prosperity Scrutiny Committee.

The committee’s political balance is 17 Labour, 1 Labour & Co-operative, 1 Green, 1 Independent.

Cllr Tony Brennan is Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development.




The 15-strong planning committee is chaired by Labour’s Daren Veidman, who is also Cabinet Member for Planning and Building Control. Since the last election there have been six changes to its membership. New in are: John Dodd, Lib Dem, who has been a councillor since 1991; Richard Hands, Lib Dem, who has been a councillor since 1986; Paula Murphy, Labour; Michael Roche, Labour; Anne Thompson, Labour; and newly-elected Carran Waterfield, Labour.

The committee’s political balance is 10 Labour, 3 Lib Dem, 1 Conservative, 1 Independent.

Leader of the council is Cllr Ian Maher and Cllr Marion Atkinson is Cabinet Member for Regeneration & Skills.


St Helens

St. Helens

St. Helens planning committee is chaired by Seve Gomez-Aspron, of the Labour Group and a councillor since 2012.

There are nine post-election changes to this committee and two cabinet members join the group – Anthony Burns, Labour, Cabinet Member for Public Health, Leisure & Libraries and Richard McCauley, Labour, Cabinet Member  for Economic Regeneration & Housing. Joining them are: Labour’s John Wiseman, who also sits on Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Committee; John FulhamCarole Ann GillGill Neal, and the newly-elected Pam Howard. Also newly-elected is David Van der Berg, Green Party; and newly-elected Independent, Donna Greaves.

Other notables on this committee are: Allan Jones, Leader of Conservative group and the representative on the Combined Authority Merseytravel Committee; and former leader of the council, Labour’s Barrie Grunewald, who stepped down from the role in 2018.

The committee’s political balance is 11 Labour, 1 Lib Dem, 1 Conservative, 1 Green, 1 Independent.

Leader of the council is Cllr David Baines.




Stuart Kelly is the new chair of the planning committee taking over from former Labour group leader Steve Foulkes. Cllr Kelly is a former leader of the Liberal Democrats and has been a councillor since 1991. He has lost his seat twice, most recently in 2015 before regaining it a year later.

Following the elections, there have been six changes to the committee, the new members being: newly-elected CllrSteve Hayes of the Green Party; Paul Stuart, Labour; Stuart Whittingham, Labour, who is also Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning; Irene Williams, Labour; Bruce Berry, Conservatives; and newly-elected Lib Dem, Andrew Corkhill.

The committee’s political balance is: 7 Labour, 4 Conservative, 2 Lib Dem, 1 Green.

Leader of the council is Cllr Pat Hackett, deputy leader is Cllr Anita Leech, responsible for the Local Plan and Cllr Tony Jones leads on Regeneration and Growth.




Cheshire East

Cheshire East

Planning functions in Cheshire East are dealt with by a Strategic Planning Board and two committees, the Northern Planning Committee and the Southern Planning Committee. The committees work on an alternating three week cycle.

As well as determining major planning applications, the board also oversees the workload of the committees, reviews working protocols and comments on existing and emerging policy.

The Northern and Southern Planning Committees deal with applications which are not dealt with by the Strategic Planning Board and are not delegated for determination by the Head of Planning and Housing, and includes small scale major development applications submitted by a councillor, senior council officer or member of staff within planning; applications called-in by councillors and applications which the Head of Planning and Housing thinks should be referred up to a committee due to the issues raised.

Only five of the 12 before May 2nd are still part of the Strategic Planning Board post elections, which has also seen a change to both its chair and vice chair. Mike Hunter now leads the board and his deputy is Stewart Gardiner. Cllr Hunter is a Labour group member and Cllr Gardiner is a long-standing Conservative councillor.

Five of the other members are not only new to the council but also to the planning board. They are: Ashley Farrall, Labour, David Jefferay, representing The Residents of Wilmslow, Rob Moreton, Independent, Patrick Redstone, Conservative and Phil Williams, Liberal Democrat. The rest is made up of Steve Edgar, Deputy Mayor, Conservative;Peter Groves, Conservative; Steven Hogben, Labour; Brian Roberts, Cabinet Member for Highways and Waste, Labour and Jacqueline Weatherill, Conservative.

The board’s political balance is 5 Conservative, 4 Labour, 1 Lib Dem, 1 Independent, 1 Residents of Wilmslow.

Leader of the council is Cllr Sam Corcoran, Labour; deputy leader of the council is Craig Browne, leader of the Independent group; Cllr Toni Fox, Independent, holds the planning portfolio and Nick Mannion, Labour is Portfolio Holder for Environment and Regeneration.


Cheshire West and Chester

Cheshire West and Chester

The changes that were rung at the election are reflected in the make-up of CWAC’s Planning Committee with multiple changes although Labour are still in the majority of this group. Newly-elected Labour councillors Christine Warner andBob Cernik are chair and deputy. Also incoming is the council’s former leader Samantha Dixon. She is joined by newly-elected Independent councillor Phil Herbert and Conservatives Charles Fifield and Myles Hogg.

The committee’s political balance is 6 Labour, 4 Conservative, 1 Independent.

Cllr Louise Gittins is leader of the council, Labour.




The borough’s planning committee is called the Development Management Committee and has 12 members. There were no council elections in 2019 and so there has been no change to membership. It’s still led by Tony McCarthy and his deputy is Joan Grime, both Labour.

The committee’s political balance is 9 Labour, 3 Lib Dem.

Cllr Russ Bowden is leader of the council; Cllr Hans Mundry, is Cabinet Member for Transportation, Highways and Public Realm.




 Manchester 01


The city council’s Planning and Highways Committee has 16 members, all of whom are Labour. Since the elections change has been limited to selecting a new chair. David Ellison has left the committee which is now chaired by Basil Curley with Nasrin Ali as his deputy.

The committee’s political balance is 16 Labour.

Leader of the council is Cllr Sir Richard Leese, who leads on City Centre, Economic Development and Support on Regeneration; Angeliki Stogia is Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport.




Bolton’s planning committee is not only one of the largest in the North West but one of the most diverse in terms of political makeup with seven political groups represented across its 19 members. Conservative councillor Dr John Walsh OBE is the chair and vice chair is Hanif Darvesh of Labour as they both were before the elections. This group also counts among its members Roger Hayes, Leader of the Lib Dems – doubling their committee representation – and Sean Hornby, Leader of the UKIP group. There are also two councillors from Farnworth and Kearsley First – increasing their number by one – Paul Sanders and Lisa Weatherby. Horwich and Blackrod First Independents’ Peter Wright is also a member. Labour previously had nine councillors on the planning committee, but that number has been reduced since May.

The committee’s political balance is 7 Labour, 6 Conservative, 2 Lib Dem, 2 Farnworth & Kearsley First, 1 Horwich & Blackrod First Independents, 1 UKIP.

Leader of the council is Cllr David Greenhalgh, his deputy, Cllr Martyn Cox is responsible for Development and Regeneration, Special Projects and Land and Property, Cllr Toby Hewitt for Strategic Housing and Planning.




Bury’s 13 strong Planning Control Committee is now chaired by Labour’s Gavin McGill. New councillors in the group are newly-elected Richard Gold, Labour; David Jones and Tahir Rafiq also both Labour; Conservative, Greg Keely and Lib Dem, Cristina Tegolo.

The committee’s political balance is 8 Labour, 4 Conservative and 1 Lib Dem.

Leader of the council, is Cllr Rishi Shori, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Skills and Transport.




Since the elections there have been six changes to the membership of the planning committee. Steven Bashforthmakes way for new member Peter Dean as chair, from the Labour group. All the other new members are also from Labour: George HulmeNyla IbrahimJavid IqbalElizabeth Jacques and Abdul Malik. There are two Lib Dems on the committee, Hazel Gloster and Garth Harkness and the sole Tory is John Hudson OBE.

The committee’s political balance is 11 Labour, 2 Lib Dem, 1 Conservative.

Cllr Sean Fielding is leader of the council and among his responsibilities is Regeneration and Infrastructure, while CllrHannah Roberts leads on Planning and Housing Control.


Rochdale 01


The Planning and Licensing Committee for Rochdale is chaired by Labour’s Shakil Ahmed, with vice-chair, Phil Burke. The membership includes, Deputy Mayor, Aasim Rashid, Labour and two cabinet assistant portfolio holders, both Labour: Shah Wazir, Regeneration,Business, Skills and Employment; and Rachel Massey, Children’s Services. Also on this committee are Shaun O’Neill, chair of Rochdale North Township Committee; Peter Rush, chair of Heywood Township Committee; and Mohammed Zamanchair of Rochdale South Township Committee.

The committee’s political balance is 11 Labour, 2 Conservative, 1 Lib Dem.

Cllr Allen Brett is leader of the council; Cllr John Blundell is Cabinet Member for Regeneration Business, Skills and Employment; Cllr Carol Wardle is Cabinet Member for Planning and Developments.




The city council’s Planning and Transportation Committee has been expanded from 12 members to 15 since the elections. The most senior member is Labour’s Derek Antrobus, who is on elected City Mayor, Paul Dennett’s cabinet as lead member for Planning and Sustainable Development. Cllr Antrobus has been an elected councillor since 1979. Also bringing considerable experience to the committee is Margaret Morris MBE who was first elected in 1991.

 The committee’s political balance is 13 Labour, 2 Conservative.

Salford City is led by (elected) Mayor Paul Dennett.




Councillors Andy Sorton, Labour, and Brian Bagnall, Conservative, remain as chair and vice-chair of the Planning and Highways Regulation Committee since the elections. However, there have been five changes to the membership and the Lib Dem’s Steve Gribbon, is the most notable addition, being also the chair of the Economy & Regeneration Scrutiny Committee, as well as a member of GMCA’s  Housing, Planning & Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee. Other new members are: Anna Charles-Jones of the Independent Ratepayers; Roy DriverPhilip Hardingand newly-elected Laura Clingan, all Labour.

The committee’s political balance is 5 Labour, 5 Lib Dem, 1 Conservative and 1 Independent.

Leader of the council is Cllr Elise Wilson; Cllr David Meller is Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration; and CllrSheila Bailey is Cabinet Member for Sustainable Stockport.




There’s been very little change on this committee, known as the Speakers Panel (Planning) since the elections. It retains eight of the previous members including the chair and deputy chair David McNally and Brian Wild. The lone Conservative on the panel is deputy leader Doreen Dickinson. Four new members, all Labour, are Dolores Lewis,Tafheen Sharif and newly-elected Jack Naylor and Jacqueline Owen.

The committee’s political balance is 11 Labour,1 Conservative.

Leader of the council is Cllr Brenda Warrington; Cllr Warren Bray is Executive Member for Strategic Development and Transport; Cllr Gerald Cooney is Executive Member for Economic Growth and Wellbeing.




The Planning and Development Management Committee is still chaired by Trafford’s Deputy Mayor, Laurence Walshwith his deputy being, Aiden Williams, both of the Labour group. Since the elections though there have been six changes to this committee. The Green Party’s deputy leader, Daniel Jerrome, joins the Lib Dem’s Meena Minnis and the Conservative’s Dave Morgan, alongside Labour’s Mike CordingleyKevin Proctor and Barry Winstanley.

The committee’s political balance is 7 Labour, 4 Conservative, 1 Lib Dem, 1 Green.

Cllr Andrew Western is leader of the council; Cllr James Wright is Executive Member for Housing and Regeneration.




Five changes to the Planning Committee since May, but Labour councillors Paul Prescott and Stephen Hellier are still chair and vice-chair. Labour Mayor Susan Greensmith joins the group as does newly-elected Conservative councillor,Steve Lyn Evans and newly-elected Labour councillor, Gena Merrett. This committee has two Independent councillors,Stuart Gerrard and Paul Maiden, who is new to this committee and finally Labour’s Michael McLoughlin also joins.

The committee’s political balance is 11 Labour, 2 Conservative, 2 Independent.

David Molyneux, the Executive Leader of Wigan Council, is also portfolio holder for Economic Development and Regeneration, while Carl Sweeney leads on Planning and Environmental Services.


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We are proud to have played a part in helping our clients achieve their objectives and have a 100 per cent record at committee. If you’d like more information, get in touch. 

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