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Deal done: Lib Dems, Labour and Independent groups agree joint administration for Cambridgeshire County Council





A deal has been struck between the Liberal Democrat, Labour, and Independent groups for control of Cambridgeshire County Council.

Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Lucy Nethsingha, front, Cllr Elisa Meschini, leader of the Labour group, and Cllr Tom Sanderson, leader of the Independent group sign the agreement on their rainbow coalition at Cambridgeshire County Council. Picture: Keith Heppell
Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Lucy Nethsingha, front, Cllr Elisa Meschini, leader of the Labour group, and Cllr Tom Sanderson, leader of the Independent group sign the agreement on their rainbow coalition at Cambridgeshire County Council. Picture: Keith Heppell

The agreement was signed by the leaders of the three groups at Shire Hall in Cambridge at midday today (Friday, May 14).

The document includes a policy framework, protocols for working arrangements between the groups, and a new committee structure.

Liberal Democrat group leader Cllr Lucy Nethsingha will be the joint administration’s nominee for leader of the council, with Labour group leader Cllr Elisa Meschini as deputy leader.

Cllr Nethsingha said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have been able to come to such a comprehensive and ambitious agreement for our joint administration for Cambridgeshire County Council.

“There are huge issues facing Cambridgeshire, and rebuilding after the Covid pandemic will not be easy, but we are excited about the prospect of rebuilding a greener, fairer Cambridgeshire.

“Tackling the climate emergency will be at the heart of our administration, and will be a key focus across all policy areas. We will bring in a new spirit of partnership and collaboration between the County Council and all its partners, in local government and more widely and we will fight hard for a fairer share of national government spending for Cambridgeshire.”

Cllr Lucy Nethsingha with Cllr Elisa Meschini at the election count discussing their arrangement. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cllr Lucy Nethsingha with Cllr Elisa Meschini at the election count discussing their arrangement. Picture: Keith Heppell

Cllr Meschini added: “I am extremely excited about the opportunity we have to advance an agenda for change after decades of Conservative maladministration. This county council will be an effective partner working with the Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Dr Nik Johnson to deliver a greener, fairer economy, an end to transport poverty, better infrastructure and to support Covid recovery.

“We also look forward to restoring trust in our structures and governance, making the distribution of services more equitable for all, and bringing the council closer to the heart of all our communities wherever they are. We will give more power to local people in influencing the decisions that matter most to them.”

Cllr Tom Sanderson, leader of the Independent group, said: “Independent members of Cambridgeshire County Council are pleased to be working with the new administration and the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party group. We have worked together to provide an excellent set of policies for the next few years that will make our local communities a better place for everyone.”

The leader of the independent group, Tom Sanderson (47171776)
The leader of the independent group, Tom Sanderson (47171776)

Responding the news on Twitter, Conservative group leader Steve Count said: “Can I congratulate the Liberal Democrats, Labour and Independents on negotiating an agreement to take over control of the council. Obviously with such different positions it will pose difficult decisions for you, in the weeks months and years ahead.”

He said it “was encouraging to see a lot of Conservative policy is to be continued”.

The former leader continued: “There is much to analyse to discuss at full council next Tuesday when we should of course expect the estimated costs of all these promises and how they will be paid for.”

Commenting on the agreement, Cambridge Labour MP Daniel Zeichner said: “People voted for change. This is good news and means that we can begin to tackle the years of neglect by the outgoing Conservative administration at Cambridgeshire County Council.

“I am pleased that positive plans are being taken from the Labour manifesto for a zero-carbon county council and real living wage accreditation.”

Read more:

Elections 2021: Independent group leader ‘inclined’ to back rainbow coalition to take control of Cambridgeshire County Council

Elections 2021: Conservative leader Steve Count explains why he believes Tories lost overall control of Cambridgeshire County Council



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