Labour’s shadow cabinet announced
Northumberland’s Labour Group leader has appointed his shadow cabinet.
Scott Dickinson said: “I am delighted to welcome members of the shadow cabinet, some of whom are experienced and long serving councillors and others who are new. They all bring a wealth of expertise to the shadow cabinet.
“I am also pleased we have a diverse cabinet of men and women of all ages. This is in stark contrast to the Conservative cabinet with only one woman. In fact there are only four women out of the 34 Conservative councillors.
“I believe our group will be more representative of people across the county in terms of age and gender.
“Deputy Labour Group leader Liz Simpson and I are looking forward to working with the shadow cabinet and ensuring we are an effective opposition at Northumberland County Council.”
Leader – Scott Dickinson MBE
Scott, who is the county councillor for Druridge Bay elected in 2013. Scott has worked in the charitable sector for 15 years delivering initiatives supported by All of his work has been around supporting the most vulnerable in society and working hard to support communities.
He has chaired Federations of Schools in Northumberland, leading change and improvements when schools needed support following Ofsted inspections. He has held various roles across the county council from the business chair, to chair of the health and wellbeing board and several other posts. He has also served on the North of Tyne Combined Authority.
Scott has worked part-time in the NHS for over 10yrs with Northumbria Healthcare Trust and helps run the family leisure businesses with his partner Anthony.
He has vast experience serving on regeneration trusts, charity organisations and has a wealth of experience in the public, private and third-sector world at Board and Executive Leadership levels.
Scott was awarded an MBE by King Charles in the New Year Honours list 2023 for his services to the communities of Northumberland.
Deputy Leader – Liz Simpson
Liz Simpson has a degree in business management from Northumbria University and a range of secretarial qualifications. From 1988 she worked at Wansbeck District Council, then she went on to work for Age UK Northumberland for 20 years and became the day services development manager; a role she loved.
Already a long standing member of the Labour Party she was elected county councillor for Newbiggin Central and East in May 2013.
Local Services – Brian Gallacher
Brian Gallacher has represented the Haydon Ward in Ashington as a councillor at both town/parish and county council level. His drive has always been to improve and enhance the local areas where we live. He has two sons and three grandchildren and has lived in Ashington all his married life.
Adult Social Care and Wellbeing – Mark Purvis
Mark Purvis was re-elected to the College ward in Ashington which he has represented for the last six years. He hopes to carry on with the work he has done so far and has plans to do much more to make the College ward a safer and better place to live for all residents. He works full time for the NHS in mental health and he is staff side chair and also branch secretary for his local branch of Unison. He is a season ticket holder for Newcastle United and more recently a season ticket holder for Newcastle Thunder rugby league team. He is also interested in reading non fiction historical books, walking and a bit of bird watching.
Corporate Finance and Regeneration – Lynne Grimshaw
Lynne has been a business women working in social care for many years and prior to that worked in North East companies such as the COOP. She is a passionate person who works hard for those less fortunate and believes strongly in supporting those who need it. Lynne has a proven track record of delivering good quality services in her businesses and in elected life being a advocate for others since being elected in 2013.
Children and Young People– Julie Foster
Telephone: 01670 825146
Julie Foster is in her 14th year as a county councillor, representing the Stakeford which she considers to be a huge privilege. Over the years, she has listened to and worked with the residents, local authority officers, parish council and other stakeholders to see positive outcomes within the ward and will continue to do so going forwards. She says to be appointed as the shadow cabinet member for children and young people is an absolute honour and she looks forward to working with officers and colleagues, within this role, for the benefit of our younger residents In Northumberland.
Healthy Lives, Leisure, Culture and Libraries – Liz Dunn
Liz has lived and worked in Lynemouth for over twenty years and is passionate about making our communities better places to live and grow up in. She firmly believes that health is a key determinant of our wellbeing, impacting on our quality of life more than any other factor, but also that the greatest influences on our health can come from outside health care.
The Healthy Lives portfolio covers a whole raft of areas that can contribute to bringing people together socially and to strengthening communities. Liz is looking forward to working with colleagues to ensure this council maximizes the wellbeing and health of all Northumberland residents.
Community Services – Alex Wallace
Alex Wallace has represented residents of Sleekburn Ward as a district or parish councillor for the past 30 years. He has considerable experience, having delivered two district local plans; served as chair of the parish council for eight years, bringing many improvements to residents in the environment, amenities, facilities and services and having served as a Blyth Harbour commissioner for 12 years.
Cabinet Chair– Kath Nisbet
Kath Nisbet was re-elected to represent Croft ward in Blyth. She says it is an honour to be able to carry out work she has already started and to continue to keep on working for her constituents and she pledges to continue to do her best for them.
She is married with two daughters, six grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Deputy Cabinet Position Children and Young People – Angie Scott
Angie was elected in 2021 for the first time. She is passionate about investing in our young people. She is a nurse and lives in Prudhoe with her family,
Deputy Cabinet Position Adult Social Care and Wellbeing – Anna Watson
Anna Watson has lived in Blyth, Northumberland her whole life and is very passionate about the town and county. She is an occupational therapist for the NHS, having previously worked in district council and corporate business, bringing a diverse experience to the role. She is a mum of two boys and lives with her husband and their family dog.
Shadow Cabinet Champion Mental Health of residents and members, Armed Forces – Rebecca Wilczek
Rebecca Wilczek was elected for the first time in 2021 to represent the Bedlington East ward as a Parish and County Councillor.
Rebecca has a Geography BSc degree and works in education. She is passionate about giving young people a healthy and happy start in life and opportunities to develop as they grow.
She is a “proud Northumbrian” and likes to explore her home county in her spare time with her family.
Deputy Cabinet Position Equality, Poverty and Community Enpowerment – Caroline Ball
I have worked in Community Development for over 10 years and I feel privileged that I get to represent Ashington as both a Town and County Councillor.
I am passionate about tackling inequalities and empowering the community and will fight till my last breath to make Ashington a better place to live, work and grow up.
I personally think Northumberland is the best place in the world to live and work and everyone should have the same doors open to them from education to employment and standards of living. No matter what the postcode you are born in to, you should not be hungry, cold or struggle to get a fair crack of the whip.
I look forward to my new role and will bring my determination, energy and will fight for those who feel they may not have a voice and I hope we can collectively even up the playing field for everyone in Northumberland as I say it really is the best place and I am proud to represent the people of Ashington and the County of Northumberland. #TeamLabour
Deputy Cabinet Environmental Services and Climate Change – Les Bowman