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Mid Suffolk Green Party and Liberal Democrat district councillors form new council group

Green and Liberal Democrat Party members at Mid Suffolk District Council have formed a new group at the council.

The group will have 17 councillors – the same number as the administration (which comprises 16 Conservative councillors and one independent).

The group will be led by Cllr Rachel Eburne from the Green Party, which has 12 councillors.Cllr John Field from the Liberal Democrats, which has five councillors, will be deputy leader.

Mid Suffolk District Council, Endeavour House (38443734)
Mid Suffolk District Council, Endeavour House (38443734)

The new group says it has been formed to increase pressure on the Conservative-led administration to pursue policies which more closely reflect the political balance of the council and the mandate of the electorate – 52 per cent of whom voted Green or Lib Dem at the last local elections.

In particular, the group will focus on the council’s investment strategy, housing and climate change priorities.

Cllr Eburne said: “The Conservative Party is only able to operate as an administration because its 16 councillors have the support of the one independent and it then has to use the tactic of exploiting the casting vote of the chair.

"We have proposed working collaboratively but they have not offered the opposition parties any portfolio positions in cabinet, nor are they involving us in a way which the balance of the council would suggest that they should. We are therefore forming this new group to increase pressure on the administration to act in a way which reflects the views of voters.”

Cllr Field said: “What we are doing follows the successful model we have adopted at county council level, where we have joined forces with the Green Party and others to more effectively scrutinise the operations of the council and hold the administration to account.”

The group is not a formal political coalition but an agreement to act together to hold the administration to account, work to form policies and bring business to a vote at council meetings.

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