A coalition between Labour, Green and the Liberal Democrat parties will run Cannock Chase Council for the next 12 months up to the May 2024 elections, it has been confirmed.
After the elections on 4 May no single party had overall control on the Council, with the Conservative Party winning 18 seats, the Labour Party 17 seats, the Green Party 5 seats and the Liberal Democrats 1 seat.
The situation was resolved at the Annual Council Meeting held last week when Councillor Tony Johnson from the Labour Party was appointed Leader.
He has formed a Cabinet of seven councillors to lead a new coalition administration, as follows:
- Leader of the Council - Councillor Tony Johnson (Labour)
- Deputy Leader of the Council and Regeneration and High Streets Portfolio Leader - Councillor Josh Newbury (Labour Party)
- Community Wellbeing Portfolio Leader - Councillor Jo Elson (Green Party)
- Environment and Climate Change Portfolio Leader - Councillor Andrea Muckley (Green Party)
- Housing Portfolio Leader - Councillor Sue Thornley (Labour Party)
- Parks, Culture, and Heritage Portfolio Leader - Councillor John Preece (Labour Party)
- Resources and Transformation Portfolio Leader - Councillor Jacquie Prestwood (Labour Party)
Councillor Johnson said: “I am delighted to take up this important role to lead the Council and our coalition. While the three coalition parties achieved 64 per cent of the votes at the elections, we must recognise there was `No Overall Control` and so it is imperative that we work in collaboration and where possible with consensus.
“I want this administration to be genuinely open, honest and to bring no surprises to our fellow councillors. We will strive for political stability, to progress on our priorities, and reflect the views of the residents and businesses of our great district.
“I believe in such challenging times we really do need to pull together for the benefit of our people.
“Initial priorities the new administration will have are: adhering to the Nolan Principles in public life, exploring every avenue to keep the Museum of Cannock Chase in its current location and operational, getting our net zero climate change agenda `back on track`, and ensuring that monies set aside to offset the impact of development are spent directly in the areas that experience these impacts.
“Longer term our aim is to deliver a fairer greener prosperous economy, in which no one is left behind, a greener future, a safer community, a healthier district, and one that is a great place to live in, work in and to visit.”
At the Annual Council Meeting on 24 May, councillors also elected Councillor Alan Pearson as the Council’s new Chairman and Councillor Darren Foley as Vice Chairman.
Before the meeting got underway an Extraordinary Council Meeting saw the Council confer Honorary Alderman status on former Councillor Gerald Molineux. Until the elections he had represented Brereton and Ravenhill Ward as a Liberal Democrat member, serving on Cannock Chase Council from 2002-2018 and then from 2019-2023.
Pictured are all 41 councillors making up Cannock Chase Council for the 2023-24 council year.