North West Leicestershire Labour group in leadership talks to decide how council will work for the next four years

By Hannah Richardson

16th May 2023 | Local News

Labour Group Leader, Cllr Sean Sheahan
Labour Group Leader, Cllr Sean Sheahan

North West Leicestershire's Labour group is exploring its options after becoming the largest party on its council – but not winning enough seats to rule alone.

The District Council switched political hands in the local elections earlier this month, after many Labour candidates beat their Conservative counterparts in the polls across the Ashby and Coalville areas.

The Conservative Party had held a strong majority on the council prior to the election, having won 22 of the 38 seats in 2019.

But they came away from the vote with just 12 seats – and no majority.

Labour, on the other hand, went from eight councillors to 17.

While this makes Labour the largest party on the authority, it was not enough to give it overall control.

Five Liberal Democrats and four independents make up the remaining seats.

Leader of the Labour group on the council Sean Sheahan said today (Tuesday) that talks were ongoing to decide how the council would work for the next four years.

He said: "We're patiently exploring a number of options with the other parties.

"The talks have focused on our respective views on the priorities for the newly-elected council.

"We have a strong manifesto, with policies on climate change, housing, fuel poverty and air quality and we have made it clear we would be happy to work with other councillors on delivering our manifesto commitments."

North West Leicestershire's Labour group has also said there would be a strong focus on the environment for the next four years if it formed the next administration.

Cllr Sheahan added: "If we are able to form the next administration, then one of Labour's first moves will be to add a new Cabinet position for the environment, with particular responsibility for ensuring that the council's net zero carbon targets are met."

He said the council declared a climate emergency in 2019, with the goal of becoming a net-zero council by 2030, but claimed that 'over the last four years, the Tories fell further and further behind the targets needed to achieve this'.

He added: "The new post will be responsible for co-ordinating climate change and biodiversity issues across all council departments.

"It will also lead a review of the refuse and recycling collection services to ensure a better recycling storage system is introduced as quickly as possible."

     

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