Two councillors have been removed from their positions on the council's cabinet.

The decision to reshuffle the cabinet by council leader Stephen Alambritis meant that Mike Brunt (former cabinet member for the environment and street cleanliness) and Nick Draper (former cabinet member for community and culture) were replaced by Laxmi Attawar and Eleanor Stringer.

Cllr Arrawar will take over responsibilties for a new role, with the title of cabinet member for women and equalities, while Cllr Stringer has been appointed cabinet member for schools and adult education.

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“When I first became a cabinet member, I had the 'equalities' portfolio, and have previously been a commissioner at the 'equality and human rights commission', so establishing this new role was very important to me," Cllr Alambritis said.

"Laxmi is well known across the community as a great advocate for equality, and I am delighted she has agreed to take the role.

“Over the past two years, Merton’s schools have been the best in the country for the progress our children make, and education is every parent’s top priority, so it’s great to be able to appoint Eleanor to the cabinet.

"She brings a wealth of professional experience in education to her new role, having worked on projects in hundreds of schools across England with a particular focus on raising standards for disadvantaged children."

He also thanked the two departing cabinet members.

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But some see it as a last ditch effort from Cllr Alambritis to retain his position in the council.

"The new cabinet has been cobbled together to protect Cllr Alambritis’ hold on power with his loyal supporters Cllrs Allison and Whelton continuing to prop him up," shadow cabinet member for the environment, Daniel Holden said.

"The protracted nature of the cabinet’s formation, and the unusual shape of the portfolios, shows the difficulty that the council leader has had in restoring order to the Labour group.

"Cllr Byers has been given new authority over the environment and street cleaning, with Cllr Brunt paying the price following his disastrous handling of waste management in the borough."

Below is a full list of the cabinet members and their roles:

The new cabinet is:

  • Leader of the council – Councillor Stephen Alambritis
  • Deputy leader and cabinet member for finance – Councillor Mark Allison
  • Cabinet member for women and equalities – Councillor Laxmi Attawar
  • Cabinet member for children’s services – Councillor Kelly Braund
  • Cabinet member for adult social care, health and the environment – Councillor Tobin Byers
  • Cabinet member for commerce, leisure and culture – Councillor Caroline Cooper-Marbiah
  • Cabinet member for voluntary sector partnerships and Community Safety – Councillor Edith Macauley
  • Cabinet member for schools and adult education – Councillor Eleanor Stringer
  • Cabinet member for regeneration, housing and transport – Councillor Martin Whelton