Nesil Caliskan set to take maternity leave next year

Deputy leader Ergin Erbil likely to be placed in charge as Cllr Caliskan plans to take maternity leave in January and February, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

Council leader Nesil Caliskan delivers her victory speech
Council leader Nesil Caliskan led Labour to another election win in Enfield last year

Ergin Erbil is expected to lead Enfield Council temporarily next year as current leader Nesil Caliskan takes maternity leave.

The deputy is set to cover the leader’s role in addition to his own responsibilities, with the support of cabinet members. Cllr Erbil is expected to assume the role for the months of January and February, although Cllr Caliskan will remain statutory leader of the authority.

Cllr Erbil, who represents Edmonton Green ward, was appointed deputy leader in May last year after Ian Barnes decided not to stand for re-election.

Councillors made arrangements for the leader’s absence during a full council meeting on Wednesday (27th), when they agreed a report proposing an increase in the deputy’s special responsibility allowance in recognition of the extra responsibilities.

Introducing the report, Labour councillor Nia Stevens said it filled a gap in the council’s paperwork, as there had previously been no specific provision for the leader’s maternity leave.

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She added that the new provisions would align Enfield Council with the spirit of the 2010 Equalities Act and pointed out that they would “allow the deputy to take a temporary leave of absence from their main employment and give the role of leader the attention it needs”.

Ergin Erbil (credit Enfield Council)
Ergin Erbil (credit Enfield Council)

The report makes provision for a period of absence from all or part of the leader’s duties for a period of up to six months.

Conservative opposition group leader Alessandro Georgiou congratulated Cllr Caliskan and her husband on their news. He said that the report showed how far politics and local government had come in regard to maternity rights, adding that it was “genuinely a very good step for us to be taking as a local authority”.

Cllr Georgiou continued: “[It] reminds us that, no matter what end of the political spectrum you come from, family is the most important thing, and this is quite right in allowing colleagues who do become leaders of the council to spend the right amount of time with their children, because they are the ones who come first.”

The report was unanimously agreed by council members.

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