HAMPSHIRE County Council’s executive lead member for children’s services has announced his intention to step down from the cabinet this week.

Cllr Edward Heron, ward councillor for Lyndhurst and Fordingbridge said: “Since standing down as a District Councillor in 2023, I have been turning more of my time to family, my business and other interests and now wish to have even more time for this.

“I have therefore advised the County Council Leader, Councillor Rob Humby of my wish to stand down from Cabinet with effect from Thursday, May 23.

Hampshire Chronicle: Cllr Edward HeronCllr Edward Heron (Image: Hampshire County Council)

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“These last few years have seen unprecedented pressure on local government finance and balancing the wishes and needs of our residents with our legal requirement to maintain a balanced budget has been challenging in the extreme.

“Despite this, it has been a privilege to serve in Cabinet, and of all the positions I have been fortunate enough to hold, undoubtedly my time as Lead Member for Children's Services has been the most rewarding.

“There is no doubt that our most vulnerable children and young people are safer, and have greater life opportunities, living in Hampshire than anywhere else in the country thanks to the work of our officers and the priority the County Council places on delivering high-performing children’s services.

“I would like to thank Councillor Rob Humby for his trust in appointing me to his Cabinet. I am personally grateful for the leadership that he has shown in what have been unprecedented times for local government. I look forward to continuing to represent the residents of my electoral division from the ‘back-benches’.”