Javid appointed communities secretary
Sajid Javid, former business secretary, has been appointed communities and local government secretary in Theresa May's cabinet reshuffle.
Sajid Javid: From BIS to DCLG - Photo credit: Parliament
The new prime minister began her leadership with a dramatic reorganisation of Whitehall, with the creation of a number of new departments and ministerial positions.
Javid’s move is mirrored by the move of former communities secretary Greg Clark to become secretary of state for new Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Clark, who was a strong proponent of devolution, has received warm praise from those in local government.
Speaking to PublicTechnology after the announcement of the reshuffle, LGA chairman Gary Porter said that it was “a bit of a wrench for local government” as Clark had been a “really brilliant secretary of state”.
Porter said that Javid now “had some big shoes to fill”, but that he was confident local government would be able to build a similarly strong working relationship. Porter added that he had spoken to Javid’s team following the announcement to get the ball rolling.
“We’ve got a big shopping list, and I need to sit down with him and work out what bits resonate with him, and what we can do to maximise the benefits for him and his department,” Porter said.
Clark had also guaranteed local government a role in Brexit negotiations, but Porter emphasised that this would not have been announced without it being “locked in” across government.
It is not yet clear where Javid’s focus will be when he starts the job, but according to They Work For You, the MP for Bromsgrove has consistently voted for reducing central government funding of local government and generally voted against more powers for local councils.
However, he did vote to authorise spending relating to the Localism Bill in 2011, which allowed the devolution of more powers to local councils in relation to social housing and planning.
Javid had been business secretary since May 2015, during which time he set in train a series of major reforms to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which aimed to cut its number of sites from 80 to around eight and cut operating costs by 30% to 40%.
Before that he held positions of secretary of state for culture, media and sport, and economic and financial secretary to the Treasury. He was elected MP for Bromsgrove in 2010.
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