By Harriet Ernstsons Wednesday 27 February 2013 Updated: 27/02 21:48
A REDDITCH councillor has given up his role as chief of adult social care in the county.
Coun Philip Gretton has been a member of Worcestershire County Council's cabinet for eight years but has decided not to continue with the role, although he will still stand for re-election in the Redditch South ward at the local elections in May.
The former accountant, who was first elected in 2001, was previously assistant to the cabinet member for social services from 2002 to 2003 and chair of the health overview and scrutiny committee between 2003 and 2005.
He told the Standard: "The main reason is I have done the job for eight years and I feel you need new thinking and new blood to do the job effectively. Eight years is long enough for any particular portfolio.
"I am very proud of what the directorate has achieved in times of difficult financial stringency. It has achieved a very good performance for the people of Worcestershire."
He added he had taken the decision to stand down now before changes in the system including a new head of service were brought in to enable the new portfolio holder to get their 'feet under the table' and begin to understand the issues surrounding social services.
The decision means the cabinet will now be reduced to nine members, with Coun John Campion - who is already responsible for localism and communities - taking on Coun Gretton's role with immediate effect.
Coun Campion said: "Philip has done an excellent job for the people of the county and I would like to recognise his great service. He leaves the adult social care service in good shape, and whilst there are many challenges ahead, I will be looking to continue to do the best I can for the service.
"His legacy is of good, sound and solid decision-making and I hope to emulate his leadership for the benefit of residents across the county."
Council leader Adrian Hardman added: "I would like to thank Philip for his commitment and dedication during his time as a cabinet member for the county council, but more importantly I'd like to acknowledge the enormous passion that he has shown for well-being of the service users and residents that benefit from the services within his cabinet area.
"At a time when consultation and tough decision making have become ever more important to the residents of Worcestershire, Philip has embraced this and always tried to put the service user at the heart of the decision."
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