Former GP who led county's Covid response steps down from cabinet role
A former GP who oversaw Staffordshire County Council’s response to the Covid pandemic has stepped down from his cabinet role.
Councillor Johnny McMahon, who represents a ward in Cannock Chase, was appointed Cabinet Member for Health and Care in summer 2020, before moving to the role of Cabinet Support Member for Public Health and Integrated Care.
On Friday it was announced that he was leaving the cabinet. He will continue to represent residents in Hednesford and Rawnsley as a county councillor however, as well as serving on Cannock Chase District Council where he is ward member for Cannock East.
Councillor McMahon said: “There have been both hugely challenging and hugely rewarding times in equal measures for the county council as we chartered our way through the ups and down of the pandemic. I am immensely proud of Staffordshire’s response and how our partners such as the NHS, district and borough councils, schools and staff in the county council really pulled together like never before to help try and keep people safe and keep health and care frontline services open.
“While I will still be very much an active county councillor, now feels like the right time to step back from cabinet.”
At Wednesday’s county council cabinet meeting members paid tribute to Councillor McMahon’s work.
Deputy leader Councillor Philip White said: “When the leader asked Johnny to join the cabinet to lead on public health it was in the teeth of the pandemic and we all knew we had the right person for the job. Through his health background he brought an understanding of the NHS, but also a real understanding and compassion for the impact of the virus and other health issues on our residents and people working tirelessly to protect them.
“His work has helped strengthen our health and care provision, working across the county. Both I and the leader, and I’m sure all the cabinet, would like to thank Johnny for his hard work and the sterling effort.
“He will be continuing as a county councillor, so I know the people of Hednesford and Rawnsley will be very glad they still have him looking after their issues. We look forward to his contributions in our council going forwards.”
Councillor Mark Deaville, cabinet member for commercial matters, said: “His knowledge, support and sheer hard work have been a tremendous asset to us and the people of Staffordshire during some very difficult times in the last two years.”
Councillor Julia Jessel, cabinet member for health and care, said: “He’s a tremendous asset in the role that he has done and will continue to be for the community he represents. For the 12 months I have done this role I have been privileged to have that kind of support.
“I shall miss Johnny and his sense of humour. I wish him well with a little bit more time he may have on his hands now.”