Leadership of the Council

What is 'Council Cabinet'?

The Leader of the Council is usually the leader of the largest political group or coalition that commands a majority amongst the 51 councillors who represent Derby.

The Leader of the Council chairs Council Cabinet meetings and appoints the councillors who will discharge the executive functions of the authority. These councillors are known as Cabinet Members.

Any decision incurring a cost or saving above £100,000 is normally decided by an individual Cabinet Member at a public meeting. Any decision with a financial impact above £250,000 is decided by Cabinet Members sitting collectively in Cabinet meetings, which take place 12 times a year.

The Cabinet has overall responsibility for services in Derby and works within the overall policies and budget agreed by Council, a meeting of all elected members.

Council Cabinet makes recommendations to Council on key items of policy and the annual budget.

Cllr Banwait Leader of the Council - Councillor Ranjit Banwait

Ranjit Banwait was born and brought up in Normanton, Derby. He attended Dale Primary School and then Village Community School off the Austin Estate.

The son of a postman with 35 years' experience at Derby Royal Mail and a school cleaner, Ranjit became the first person in his family to attend university, graduating from the University of Kent with a degree in history. After a short spell living in London he moved back to Derby to settle down and raise a family. Ranjit is married and lives in Alvaston with his wife Lucy, son Sebastian and daughter Constance.

Councillor Banwait was first elected to represent Boulton ward in 2006, before becoming the first ethnic minority Leader of Derby City Council in May 2014.

As well as being the Leader of the Council, Cllr Banwait is the Cabinet Member for Strategy and Policy. His main priorities are:

  • To implement the Administration's 15 Year Vision and the Derby Plan.
  • To provide strong and effective corporate governance.

He will do this by:

  • Overseeing the implementation of the Cabinet's priorities and by supporting his fellow Cabinet Members
  • Implementing stringent procedures, policies and practices across the Council

Councillor Banwait's responsibilities include:

  • Overall strategic leadership
  • Human resources
  • Legal services
  • Democracy
  • Finance and procurement
  • Revenue and benefits
  • Customer services
  • Business support
  • ICT and business systems
  • Performance and improvement
  • Transformation.


 Photo of Councillor Martin Rawson‌Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities and City Centre Regeneration  - Councillor Martin Rawson

Martin Rawson became a councillor for Derwent ward in a 2005 by-election that contributed to Labour taking control of Derby City Council.

During his time as a councillor Martin has sat on several Overview and Scrutiny Boards as well as committees dealing with licensing, personnel and audit and accounts. After Labour regained control of the Council in May 2012, Martin became Cabinet Member for Children and Young People.

In May 2014, he became the Deputy Leader of the Council and assumed responsibility for planning, environment and regeneration. In his current Cabinet role he has focused on developing the City-Centre Masterplan and seeking funding for ambitious proposals for the refurbishment of district centres across the city.

Councillor Rawson's main priority is: 

  • Creating jobs for Derby people by generating sustainable growth and prosperity in the local economy – both in the city centre and in communities across Derby.

He will do this by:

  • Bringing the City-Centre Masterplan to fruition an taking forward proposals for the refurbishment of district centres.

Councillor Rawson's responsibilities include:

  • Inward investment and regeneration
  • Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership
  • Development control
  • Spatial planning
  • Derby LIVE
  • Museums and libraries
  • Parks and open spaces
  • Livewell
  • Leisure facilities.


 Councillor Sara Bolton‌Cabinet Member for Safeguarding and Children and Young People - Councillor Sara Bolton

Councillor Sara Bolton has served on Derby City Council for over 30 years and is now the council's longest serving elected member.

She moved to Derby when she was seven years of age and has lived in the city ever since. Sara was educated at St Mary's Catholic Primary School, St Ralph Sherwin Catholic Comprehensive and Wilmorton College, now Derby College.

Sara represents Chaddesden Ward and has served on many committees and boards during her time as a councillor. In May 1999, Sara became the youngest ever Mayor of Derby, serving the city during the millennium celebrations, attending 1,348 engagements and raising £94,000 for local charities.

Prior to becoming a Cabinet Member in May 2015, Sara was most recently the Chair of the Planning Control Committee. Sara brings a wealth of valuable experience to her new role as the Cabinet Member for Safeguarding and Children and Young People.

Councillor Bolton's main priority is:

  • To make sure children grow up free from neglect, abuse and exploitation.

She will do this by:

  •  Providing strong safeguarding and by working in partnership with agencies to identify and protect children at risk.

 Councillor Bolton's responsibilities include:

  • Early interventions
  • Safeguarding children
  • Children in care.


 Cllr Russell‌Cabinet Member for Educations and Skills - Councillor Sarah Russell

Sarah is a University of Derby law graduate who became heavily involved in local campaigning, leading calls to protect care homes and children's centres in the city during 2010 and 2011.

Sarah was elected as Councillor for Abbey Ward in a by-election in 2011, retaining the seat for a further four-year term 12 months later. In May 2012, Sarah became the youngest Cabinet Member in the country when she assumed the portfolio for Business, Finance and Democracy at just 22 years of age.

During her time as a Cabinet Member, Sarah has taken a prominent role in introducing the Living Wage for Derby City Council employees, while also leading campaigns against pay-day lending and the Government's work programme.

In May 2015, Sarah took on a new challenge as the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills. The role includes responsibility for transforming the performance of schools in Derby, as well as creating innovative opportunities for adult and workplace learning.

Councillor Russells main priority is:

  • To make sure that children and young people fulfil their potential and ensure all residents have access to life-long learning opportunities.

She will do this by:

  • Ensuring all children get the best possible education
  • Supporting young people into work, apprenticeships or further education
  • Developing innovative proposals for promoting lifelong learning.

Councillor Russell's responsibilities include:

  • School organisation and provision
  • Quality, standards and performance
  • Inclusion and intervention
  • Adult learning.


Councillor Fareed Hussain photo June 2015Cabinet Member for Urban Renewal - Councillor Fareed Hussain

Fareed Hussain came to live in Derby in 1974. After a variety of jobs in private industry and a short spell as self-employed restauranteur, he became a day worker in Social Services with Derbyshire County Council in 1985 before retiring in 2015.

Fareed was elected to Derby City Council in 1991 representing Babington Ward and has served Arboretum Ward since 2002.

Using his substantial professional experience, he has played a leading role in shaping children's services in the city over recent years as Chair of Overview and Scrutiny Boards and as the Cabinet portfolio holder.

Having served a term as Mayor from May 2013, he recently returned to the political fold as a Cabinet Member. His latest role includes responsibility for housing renewal, with a focus on improving housing standards in some of the most deprived areas of the inner city. 

Councillor Hussain's main priority is:

  • To provide safe, clean and thriving neighbourhoods where people choose to live.

He will do this by:

  •  Providing access to high quality housing for all residents and tackling the underlying issues preventing housing renewal in inner city areas.

Councillor Hussain's responsibilities include:

  • Housing strategy
  • Housing options service
  • Empty homes
  • Derby Homes
  • Housing development.


Councillor AfzalCabinet Member for Cohesion and Integration - Councillor Asaf Afzal

Proud to be born and raised in Derby, Asaf Afzal grew up in Chaddesden and attended local schools, before going on to become a taxi driver.

Asaf was elected as a councillor for Abbey Ward in May 2011 and has gained a reputation for his extensive local knowledge and community connections.

Asaf has represented the Council on a range of forums and committees, such as the Disabled People’s Diversity Forum and the Minority Communities Diversity Forum, as well as sitting on Planning Control Committee and Conservation Area Advisory Committee.

Asaf’s experience as Chair of the Neighbourhoods Overview and Scrutiny Board ensured he was well placed to become Cabinet Member for Planning, Environment and Public Protection in May 2013, before taking responsibility for Neighbourhoods and Streetpride a year later.

In May 2015, he became the Cabinet Member for Cohesion and Integration and assumed responsibility for creating stronger and safer communities.

Councillor Afzal's main priority is:

  • To create cohesive and integrated communities.

He will do this by:

  • Encouraging communities to work collaboratively to improve their quality of life and that of their neighbours
  • Tackling the risks and threats to cohesion and integration.

Councillor Afzal's responsibilities include:

  • Traffic and transportation
  • Grounds maintenance and cleansing
  • Highways and engineering
  • Waste management and disposal
  • Communities
  • Neighbourhood partnerships.


Cllr Repton Cabinet Member for Integrated Health and Care  - Councillor Martin Repton

Martin Repton was first elected to Derby City Council in 1987 and has represented Darley Ward since 2002. He has served in a wide variety of positions during his time as a councillor.

Martin's professional background was in commerce, before moving into the Probation Service and then adult social services. Most recently, Martin was a community mental health professional.

Prior to assuming his current Council Cabinet portfolio, Martin has been responsible for many areas including planning and transport, leisure and culture and was previously Deputy Leader of the Council.

As the Cabinet Member with responsibility for Integrated Health and Care, he is able to use his wealth of professional experience to help adult social care in Derby adapt to increasing demand for services and reducing budgets.

Councillor Repton's main priority is:

  • To make sure people have good health and remain independent for as long as possible.

He will do this by:

  • Enabling people to access joined-up health and care services.

Councillor Repton's responsibilities include:

  • Assessment and support planning
  • Enablement services
  • Access and direct services
  • Safeguarding adults
  • Public health
  • Care and support
  • Sector development.


Photo of Councillor Lisa EldretCabinet Member for Jobs and Fair Employment - Councillor Lisa Eldret

Lisa Eldret is originally from Sussex and moved to Derby in 2011. Prior to this, Lisa lived overseas for a number of years and worked in the trade union movement in New Zealand, India and Switzerland where she campaigned to secure improvements to workers terms and conditions across a range of industries.

Lisa lives in Darley with her partner Nadine, three year old son Theo and her new-born twins, Caspar and Caden.

Lisa was elected to represent Darley Ward in 2014, and became Chair of the Corporate Scrutiny and Governance Board shortly afterwards. In this role she led a comprehensive review into voter turnout across the city and chaired the newly formed employee commission, tasked with developing the Derby Employment Charter.

In her new role as Cabinet Member for Jobs and Fair Employment she has taken responsibility for promoting the Charter to businesses across the city.

Councillor Eldret's main priority is:

  • To ensure fair pay and conditions for all workers in Derby.

She will do this by:

  • Working in partnership with employees, trade union representatives and employers
  • Implementing the recommendations of The Employment Commission.

Councillor Eldret's responsibilities include:

  • Human Resources strategy and policy.


Cllr Shanker Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services - Councillor Baggy Shanker

The son of a foundry worker, Baggy Shanker became a councillor for Sinfin in 2008. Having previously sat on a number of regulatory committees and Overview and Scrutiny boards, Derby-born Baggy became Cabinet Member for Housing and Advice in 2012.

Baggy has a wealth of experience as part of some of Derby's largest organisations. After working at British Celanese for 23 years, he joined Rolls-Royce in 2012.

These roles have made him ideally suited for his most recent position as Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services. The portfolio includes responsibility for governance across the authority, as well as ensuring regulatory policies, procedures and practices are adhered to.

Councillor Shanker's main priority is:

  • To create safe environments for people to live and work and ensure that the authority is well governed.

He will do this by:

  • Implementing strict regulatory policies, procedures and practices while ensuring their compliance with legislation.

Councillor Shanker's responsibilities include:

  • Environmental health and licensing
  • Trading Standards
  • Governance.

On this page: