Essex is getting its own councillor for potholes after county council leader David Finch announced changes to his cabinet.

Harlow councillor Eddie Johnson has been given the newly created role of cabinet member for highways maintenance and small scheme delivery in the reshuffle, announced today.

Existing councillor for highways and transportation, Rodney Bass, retains overall control of transport issues, but will focus on major projects such as improving the A120.

Last month the South East Local Enterprise Partnership was awarded £442million for road improvements and supporting businesses.

As part of the reshuffle, Mr Finch has given up his finance portfolio, which he currently combines with his role as council leader.

In July, Mr Finch told fellow councillors he had decided against taking legal action to claw back £50,000 of taxpayers’ money claimed by former leader Lord Hanningfield.

Mersea and Tiptree councillor John Jowers has stepped down as cabinet member for libraries.

He said: “I am proud to leave the cabinet as a cabinet member who has opened new libraries.”

Stanway councillor Kevin Bentley, currently deputy leader responsible for economic growth, has also taken on the waste and recycling portfolio formerly held by Great Notley councillor Roger Walters.

Ann Naylor, who spearheaded the council’s role in bringing the Tour de France to Essex, has been replaced as cabinet member for public health and wellbeing by Anne Brown.

Mr Finch said: “I want to pay tribute for the dedication and service of all of those who are leaving the cabinet.

“In a high pressure role they have worked tirelessly for the people of Essex and deserve our thanks.

“The changes I have announced today will bring fresh thinking to help us face head-on the huge challenges ahead of us.”

The changes come into force on September 1.