NOT quite the night of the long knives. More a subtle filleting. But there's no denying the most notable aspect of a cabinet reshuffle at County Hall is the demise of Cllr Nick Chard, the man who was in charge of the county's road network as well as waste and the environment.
Cabinet reshuffle sees transport boss out>>>
Why has he gone? As ever, there appears to be a myriad of theories, none of which strike me as terribly persuasive or compelling. I do sense that it came as a bit of a surprise - not just to Cllr Chard - but to many others.
I think there's an interesting sub-text to the diplomatically-worded statement he sent to staff and colleagues announcing his departure - setting out the achievements of the directorate over his 18-months in charge.
And it is true that after a fairly chaotic and turbulent few years in the highways department, it appeared to be on a more even keel and under the management of John Burr enjoying a rather more settled period.
Yes, there have been problems but the authority's concerted efforts to tackle the spate of pot holes caused by two bad winters was, on the whole, reasonably successful and Kent appeared to have escaped major problems with gritting the roads this winter.
Only last week, Cllr Chard was talking about the authority's important rail blueprint detailing what KCC wanted under the new franchise.
Still, cabinet reshuffles are the leader's prerogative and he must have his reasons - indeed, highways and transport are issues that Paul Carter has taken a close interest in and has very firm views about. Which itself might be one of the explanations for the change. (Worth noting that at the last reshuffle after the 2009 election, the highways job was one of three key changes).
The rest of the changes are not quite as far-reaching as some might have expected. Indeed, the major cabinet posts remain pretty much the same albeit with some title changes. One other new face at the cabinet table will be Cllr Jenny Whittle, who takes on a role as member for specialist childrens services.
There are one of two changes in the deputy cabinet roles, with no jobs for Cllr Mike Northey, Mike Angell and Leyland Ridings, who has taken over from Chris Capon as the chairman of the backbench scrutiny committee on education, learning and skills. That's an interesting switch of roles as Leyland Ridings was the member who had responsibility for vulnerable children's services in his former deputy cabinet role.
Newcomers include Cllr Mike Whiting as deputy cabinet member for education, learning and skills, who was elected in 2009. Cllr Jeremy Kite, the leader of Dartford council and an occasional thorn in the side of the administration, is deputy cabinet member for regeneration.
One issue raised by the shake-up is where the £200k that is to be saved on members allowances is going to come from. With the numbers of cabinet and deputy cabinet member roles remaining the same, it looks like an across-the-board pay cut might be the favoured option.