Rust joins cabinet after Kemp’s shock departure

In light of Alex Kemp’s shock announcement to leave West Norfolk Council’s cabinet last week, today it has been revealed that Cllr Jo Rust will take her place.

Cllr Rust accepted the position of cabinet member for people and communities and has expressed her passion for wanting to help people facing challenges.

It follows Cllr Alex Kemp’s decision to leave the cabinet last Thursday after she claimed she had witnessed “values of common human decency trampled”.

Cllr Jo Rust will take over the role
Cllr Jo Rust will take over the role

Jo Rust said: “I’m really excited to be taking up this portfolio. It sits naturally with all the activities I undertake in our community, including my voluntary work with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the Night Shelter.

“I have a huge passion for trying to make things better for those who are facing challenges, whether from a health or housing point of view.

“I have many years of experience and am absolutely committed to working hard for our communities.

Cllr Alex Kemp left the position last week. Picture: West Norfolk Council
Cllr Alex Kemp left the position last week. Picture: West Norfolk Council

“I have been a councillor for many years and have built many strong relationships with both officers, other members and partner organisations, which puts me in a good position to make a real difference.”

The role incorporates housing strategy, housing standards and homelessness, social inclusion, health improvement and ill health prevention, partnerships with the NHS and Integrated Care Boards, the Lily Service, Care and Repair and Careline, customer service and community safety.

Cllr Terry Parish, Leader of West Norfolk Council, said: “I offered the role to Jo, who is the obvious choice for this role and am delighted that she has accepted.

“Her experience and track record say everything and she will definitely be a good fit for this role.

“For the time being she will be undertaking the role in addition to her duties as chair of planning. I am confident that she has the knowledge, experience, energy, enthusiasm and commitment to do both roles justice.

“I am very much looking forward to working with her. I would like to thank Cllr Kemp for her Cabinet contributions previously and am pleased that she remains a committed member of the independent partnership as she continues with her much-valued ward work, both as a borough and county councillor.”

Cllr Rust has previously stood in the 2015, 2017 and 2019 general elections.