- Posted by: Canterbury Labour Party
- Category: News
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Today, following the elections on May 4th in which Labour doubled its seats on Canterbury City Council to 18, the largest representation by our party ever, we have agreed with the Liberal Democrats an historic deal to share power at the council over the next four years.
With nine seats won by the Liberal Democrats, our two parties are able to form a very strong joint administration, with 27 out of 39 councillors overall.
The new partnership will allow us to make much-needed changes, after decades of Conservative failures, with the new council leadership getting to work straight away on a series of initial actions that will be taken within the first 100 days, including the establishment a cross-party working group to redraft the local plan.
The new council will promise a better way for the people of the district that prioritises growth, putting action on climate change and biodiversity at the heart of all council decision-making. The new partnership will be modern, collegiate and collaborative, and will run until May 2027, when the City Council is next up for re-election.
A new cabinet of nine members, comprising six Labour and three Liberal Democrat councillors has been formed. The new Council Leader is expected to be Councillor Alan Baldock (Labour) with Michael Dixey (Liberal Democrats) as Deputy Leader.
Over the course of the next 100 days, the new council will:
- Commit to increasing the provision of social housing and begin to take tangible actions towards achieving this.
- Scrap the Tories’ disastrous Canterbury ‘city zoning’ proposals.
- Establish a cross-party working group to redraft the local plan.
- Begin the process to restore and develop Canterbury’s market.
- Pause the disposal of all city-centre car parks pending a Parking Strategy Review to develop alternative approaches to Canterbury’s traffic management including reopening the Sturry Park & Ride and provision of walking and cycling routes.
- Set up a working group on holiday rentals, short term lets and available tourist accommodations.
As a matter of urgency the new leadership team will undertake a review of the council’s finances and introduce a recovery plan to tackle the situation left by years of questionable investments and the skewed priorities of the previous regime.
This desire to govern for the whole district will be supported by a full Governance review within two years, which will examine democratic structures, including the potential for town councils for Whitstable and Herne Bay and the return of a rural forum.
The new cabinet including the Leader of the Council, as well as the Lord Mayor and Sheriff will be elected by a full session of Canterbury City Council tomorrow, Wednesday 17th May, 7pm at the Guildhall. Members are most welcome to attend the formal meeting which is open to the public and is also being livestreamed.
The potential for the whole of our district is enormous – with Labour in power in local government, we can achieve much together.
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