New Cabinet Member at KCC

New Cabinet Member for Environment Rob Thomas standing in woodland

Rob Thomas will serve as Cabinet Member for Environment

The Leader of Kent County Council (KCC) Roger Gough has today (Thursday) announced a new member of his Cabinet.

Rob Thomas will serve as Cabinet Member for Environment.

Born in Margate, he grew up and attended school in Whitstable and Canterbury. He went on to study accounting and finance in Leeds Metropolitan University and was elected to KCC’s Canterbury North Division in the November 2018 by-election.

Cllr Thomas served as Leader of Canterbury City Council between May 2019 and September 2020, during which time the authority pledged to reduce its carbon emissions to net zero by 2030 and amongst other green initiatives, created a climate change board involving district-wide partners and organisations to prioritise energy efficiency and carbon neutrality.

He also helped establish the East Kent Parks Forum and works closely with the Canterbury District Biodiversity Network. He is a member of the Kent Plan Bee group, KCC’s pollinator action plan designed to improve the habitat and the food sources of these insects and reverse their decline.

Cllr Thomas said: “The environment is something that I’m passionate about. Arguably, I grew up in the first generation to understand the impact of human behaviour on the planet with the hole in the ozone layer and the subsequent ban on the use of CFCs in products to rectify the problem. My approach to the role will be evolution not revolution and working with community groups will be important. I cannot wait to get started, throwing all my energy into it to make a positive impact.”

Cllr Thomas replaces Cllr Susan Carey in the Cabinet, who stepped down from the role in November.

Roger Gough has taken responsibility for the Environment portfolio since then with support from Tony Hills, Deputy Cabinet Member for Environment. Cllr Hills will continue in the deputy role alongside Cllr Thomas.

Speaking on Thursday, Roger Gough said: “I appointed our first dedicated Cabinet Member four years ago and Susan Carey discharged that with distinction. Rob brings the energy and commitment to do the same.”

Cllr Thomas moves up from Deputy Cabinet Member for Economic Development, a role now filled by James McInroy. He is moving across from the office of Finance, Corporate and Traded Services, where he was a Deputy to Peter Oakford alongside Harry Rayner. Cllr Rayner remains as a Deputy and the vacancy is filled by Mike Dendor.

Further information

See all the Cabinet Members and their Deputies here: