New leader for Lancaster City Council’s Labour, Green and Lib Dem alliance as climate change takes centre stage

Coun Dave Brookes, Coun Caroline Jackson, Coun Kevin Frea, Coun Erica Lewis, Coun Michael Mumford and Coun Joyce Pritchard.
Coun Dave Brookes, Coun Caroline Jackson, Coun Kevin Frea, Coun Erica Lewis, Coun Michael Mumford and Coun Joyce Pritchard.
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Lancaster City Council has chosen a new leader following the local elections earlier this month.

The Labour Party, which has the highest number of councillors, has entered into an alliance with The Green Party and The Liberal Democrats and the group has elected Coun Erica Lewis as council leader.

Coun Kevin Frea has been elected as deputy leader, and is also responsible for making sure that the Climate Emergency which the council declared in January is implemented.

Every cabinet member has Climate Change embedded in their portfolio.

The three parties say they have agreed on a set of principles to guide their work together which will see Green councillors included in cabinet, and Liberal Democrat councillors included on more committees.

Coun Lewis, who represents John O’ Gaunt Ward said: “I’m honoured to have been elected as the Leader of Lancaster City Council and I’m excited about what our new cross-party administration will deliver for the residents of Lancaster.

“My first cabinet places an emphasis on ensuring we meet our target of being carbon-neutral by 2030, alongside focusing on community wealth building and strengthening how the council works with residents and stands up for our community.”

Coun Lewis announced her first cabinet, which includes three Green cabinet members as well as seven Labour members.

At the local elections on May 3, Labour won 21 seats, Morecambe Bay Independents 14, the Conservatives 12, The Green Party 10, and The Liberal Democrats three.

The cabinet make up is as follows:

Erica Lewis (Labour) - Leader

Coun Kevin Frea (Labour) - Deputy Leader with particular responsibility for coordinating the response to the climate emergency across all portfolios.

Coun Dave Brookes (Green) - Environmental Services

Coun Tim Hamilton-Cox (Green) - Economic Regeneration

Coun Janice Hanson (Labour) - Resources

Coun Caroline Jackson (Green) - Housing

Coun Jean Parr (Labour) Arts, Culture, Leisure & Tourism

Coun John Reynolds (Labour) - Planning

Coun Alistair Sinclair (Labour) - Communities & Social Justice

Coun Anne Whitehead (Labour) - Finance

Green Party Coun Caroline Jackson, who represents Bulk Ward, said: “As elected Green councillors we are excited to join in an alliance that puts achieving the climate emergency goals as its priority. We look forward to a hugely positive four years in the service of the district.

Liberal Democrat Coun Michael Mumford, who represents Kellet Ward, said: “This alliance shows every sign of working together cooperatively for the benefit of the people of Lancaster.”

Coun Kevin Frea, who represents Halton-with-Aughton, said: “We now have a Co-operative Alliance with the Green Party and the Lib Dems, almost identical to how Stroud have run their Council since 2012, and without the Greens putting their trust in me on May 2 I would not even be a member of the council and we would have an even thinner majority over the Tories and Morecambe Bay Independents.

“I’ll be setting up working groups on all aspects of the climate, and ecological, emergency so do let me know if you want to play an active role in getting Lancaster to zero carbon by 2030 at the latest, and also if you have advice and expertise to offer but don’t live in the district.”