At a meeting held today (23rd May) Cllr. Mark Cory was voted in as new leader of the Council, putting the Lib Dem’s in the driving seat of Colchester Council for another twelve months.
31-year-old teacher, Cllr. Mark Cory, was voted in as Council leader with a vote of 25 – 24 against opposition leader, Cllr. Darius Laws of the Conservative party.
Cllr. Tim Young (Lab), retained his seat as Deputy Leader of the Council in the cabinet shake up.
Eight portfolio holders will form the Cabinet – with three new Lib Dem faces joining the team. The Cabinet now comprises of four Lib Dem’s, three Labour and one Independent councillor.
The Full Council meeting was the first meeting presided over by new town Mayor, Peter Chillingworth, who was sworn in earlier on in the day during a ceremony in the Moot Hall.
‘New Cabinet line-up’
The final line-up for the Colchester Council Cabinet now looks like this:
- Cllr. Mark Cory (Lib) – Council Leader / Portfolio Holder for Strategy
- Cllr. Tim Young (Lab) – Deputy Leader / Portfolio Holder for Business and Culture
- Cllr. Nick Barlow (Lib) – Portfolio Holder for Commercial Services
- Cllr. Tina Bourne (Lab) – Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities
- Cllr. Martin Goss (Lib) – Portfolio Holder for Waste, Environment and Transportation
- Cllr. David King (Lib) – Portfolio Holder for Resources
- Cllr. Mike Lilley (Lab) – Portfolio Holder for Planning, Public Safety and Licensing
- Cllr. Beverley Oxford (Ind) – Portfolio Holder for Customers.
Speaking shortly after the new Cabinet was approved by Full Council, Cllr. Mark Cory said: “I’m delighted we’ve been able to agree a new progressive alliance and I very much look forward to progressing our work together as Leader of the Council.
“We have had nine successful years of working very effectively in coalition; we know what works and we won’t find it difficult to develop our future plans together.
“The people of Colchester rightly expect us to deliver on our promise to make the borough a safer and cleaner place, a significant economic growth generator, and a vibrant, prosperous and welcoming place for all. They can be assured this coalition will work hard to meet those expectations.”
A named vote by councillors in the chamber following a motion raised by fellow Cllr. Beverly Davies, failed in an attempt to propose the Tory leader as Council Leader.
Cllr. Darius Laws, leader of the Conservative Group in Colchester said he was disappointed in the result of the vote. He added: “The councillors in the chamber have failed to recognise the people of Colchester – in recent elections and previously – are clearly voting Conservative.
“The Conservatives won three additional council seats in the last nine months, we have more seats than Labour and the Lib Dem’s put together, and yet they still cling on.
“It is the Conservatives in Colchester that have a mandate to lead this council. The current administration are morally bankrupt in this continuation of this coalition circus.”
‘We have much to do’
Speaking of the cabinet reshuffle, Cllr. Tim Young said they still have much to do in the face of an exceptionally difficult economic backdrop. The Deputy Leader added: “I’m tremendously pleased we have formed a new Cabinet. Much of what we are going to do together will build on the successes of the previous Administration, to ensure our borough remains a thriving and successful place for residents, businesses and visitors alike.
“We still have much to do in the face of an exceptionally difficult economic backdrop and ongoing financial pressures. I am determined our record of protecting vital services and delivering on our aim of increasing investment will continue with renewed vitality.”