Council’s top political leadership team is announced


Plymouth City Council’s new Cabinet

Plymouth City Council leader Tudor Evans has announced the top political team that will lead the authority’s new Labour administration.

The 10-strong Cabinet will be responsible for running of the Council and making the key decisions following the Annual Meeting on Friday 18 May.

Councillor Evans said the team would immediately start implementing the ambitions set out in the Labour administration’s 100 pledge manifesto and ensuring improving day-to-day services is a top priority.

Councillor Evans said: “We have an exceptionally strong team to lead the Council’s new Labour administration. Each brings extensive experience to their portfolio, both from their previous service on the Council and from their work in their communities and in a wide range of sectors.

“We aim to hit the ground running to deliver on our ambitious agenda for both the Council and for Plymouth which is set out in our 100 pledges. We will be ensuring that the Council prioritises getting its services to the people of Plymouth right.

“The Council faces many challenges and there’s a huge amount to do but I am confident that we have an extremely capable and driven political leadership team that will demonstrate just how much can be achieved for the residents of Plymouth when the ambition and commitment is there.”



Tudor Evans, Leader

Peter Smith, Deputy Leader

Sally Bowie, Customer Focus and Community Safety

Mark Coker, Strategic Planning and Infrastructure

Sue Dann, Environment and Street Scene

Mark Lowry, Finance

Sue McDonald, Children and Young People
Chris Penberthy, Housing and Co-operative Development

Jon Taylor, Education, Skills and Transformation

Ian Tuffin, Health and Adult Social Care


The Cabinet is led by Councillor Tudor Evans, Labour councillor for Ham, who has previously served three terms as leader between 1998 and 2000, 2003 to 2007 and 2012 to 2016.

His responsibilities include economy and enterprise, regional and local economic strategy, the corporate plan, corporate policy development, HM Dockyard and defence issues and strategic and commercial projects.

Councillor Peter Smith is Deputy Leader, with responsibility for human resources, organisational development and trade union liaison, the library service, Mayflower 400, events, culture and museums, the Waterfront Partnership, leisure management contract, democracy and governance, member development and sports development.

The Honicknowle councillor, who has previously served as Deputy Leader, has previously worked at the Dockyard as the Joint Industrial Chair.

Councillor Sue McDonald is Cabinet member for Children and Young People, overseeing children’s social care, tackling child sexual exploitation, children’s public health, adoption and fostering services, corporate parenting, early intervention and prevention for families, the youth offending service, children’s mental health and children’s dental health.

Councillor McDonald who represents St Peter and the Waterfront ward, has previously served in the Cabinet and is a former chair of the Community Health Council, with experience of health service and adult care issues.

Councillor Mark Lowry is Cabinet member for Finance, with a brief that includes overseeing the revenue budget, strategic housing, performance management, corporate property and land and facilities management, the City Centre Company, monitoring and oversight of the capital programme, revenues and municipal enterprise and fees and charges.

Councillor Lowry, who represents Honicknowle, has worked as a senior manager for Babcock Marine and has previous experience as Cabinet member for Finance.

Councillor Chris Penberthy oversees the Housing and Co-operative Development portfolio, which includes co-operative support and development, Cities of Service and veterans, empty homes, unauthorised encampments, homelessness, private sector housing grants and improvements, housing enabling role with registered social landlords, welfare and benefits policy, the Fairness Commission, tackling child poverty, the Devonport Towers campaign, strategic housing projects and strategic procurement.
The councillor for St Peter and the Waterfront has previously served in the Cabinet and has extensive experience of work in the third sector across the country.

Councillor Mark Coker is responsible for the Strategic Planning and Infrastructure portfolio, which includes the Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan, transport policies and strategies, sustainable transport including walking and cycling, strategic highways, parking and marine services and Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry.

Councillor Coker, who represents Devonport, has also previously served in the Cabinet overseeing the strategic transport and planning portfolio.

Councillor Ian Tuffin is the Cabinet member for Health and Adult Social Care, a role he has held in a previous administration.

The role includes responsibility for older people’s services, mental health services, physical disability services, drug and alcohol services, learning disability services, the dementia friendly city agenda, health and social care co-operative commissioning, health and wellbeing and other healthcare matters.

Councillor Tuffin has represented St Peter and the Waterfront ward since 2011 and has previously worked with adults with learning disabilities.

Councillor Jon Taylor is Cabinet member for Education, Skills and Transformation and has executive leadership and oversight of the Council’s transformation activities, designs for future purpose, functions and shape of the organisation and for IT and digital services.

His education and skills responsibilities include overseeing post-16 education and training, schools, early years, adult education, higher and further education, skills and employability and the Plymouth Education board.

Councillor Taylor represents Budshead and has previously served in the Cabinet.

Councillor Sue Dann, who represents Sutton and Mount Gould, is Cabinet member for Environment and Street Scene, overseeing waste management, recycling and street cleaning, green infrastructure, highways maintenance, Plastic Free Plymouth, climate change and sustainability, energy policy, environment enforcement and the Marine National Park Campaign. Councillor Dann has previously held a Cabinet portfolio that included transport.

Councillor Sally Bowie, who represents St Budeaux, has the Customer Focus and Community Safety portfolio, which includes civil protection and resilience, public protection, crime and antisocial behaviour, customer services, community engagement, miscellaneous licensing, Hackney Carriage licensing, Safer Plymouth and the Community Safety Partnership.

Councillor Bowie has previously chaired the Place and Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee.



As well as changes to Cabinet portfolios, a new structure for the overview and scrutiny functions is also set to be agreed at the annual meeting, increasing the number of committees from two to four.

The overview and scrutiny committees have responsibility for holding the Cabinet to account, monitoring the budget and performance, reviewing new Government policies and legislation and making recommendations to Cabinet.
The committees will cover:

  • Brexit, Infrastructure and Legislative Change
  • Performance, Finance and Customer Focus
  • Education and Children’s Social Care
  • Health and Adult Social Care Overview and Scrutiny.