Harborough District Council's new coalition formed during official handover

It’s partnership between Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party comes after the Tories lost seven seats on the council
Outgoing council chair Neil Bannister handed over £3,000 Janet McMillan of Leicestershire and Rutland branch of MND Association.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTEROutgoing council chair Neil Bannister handed over £3,000 Janet McMillan of Leicestershire and Rutland branch of MND Association.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Outgoing council chair Neil Bannister handed over £3,000 Janet McMillan of Leicestershire and Rutland branch of MND Association. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

The new coalition partnership which will run Harborough District Council has been formally recognised.

It’s partnership between Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party comes after the Tories lost seven seats on the council - and therefore their overall majority in the local elections earlier this month.

An official handover took place at a full council meeting last night (Monday).

Outgoing Neil Bannister with new chairman Barbara Johnson
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTEROutgoing Neil Bannister with new chairman Barbara Johnson
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Outgoing Neil Bannister with new chairman Barbara Johnson PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

Cllr Knowles, who has replaced Tory councillor Phil King as district council leader, said: “From a personal point of view, I’m honoured to have been elected as leader. We have been able to formally confirm our Coalition Partnership and we will be appointing members of the Cabinet and Committees.

“Local Government faces significant challenges and we will be working hard to secure the very best for the whole of the district.”

Meanwhile Liberal Democrat councillor Barbara Johnson will take the place of Cllr Neil Bannister as chair. During the handover, Cllr Bannister produced a cheque for £3,000 for his chosen chairman’s charity Motor Neurone Disease Association.

The handover followed a call from Conservatives at the end of last week for an ‘end to the period of uncertainty’ over who would run the council.

Harborough District Council. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTERHarborough District Council. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Harborough District Council. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

In a statement to the Harborough Mail the new coalition group said it had been working hard since the election to seek a solution in the best interests of residents who ‘sent a message loud and clear they were dissatisfied with the Conservatives’.

In response, the Tory party said it was disappointed its call to form an administration was dismissed.

Cllr Bateman told the Mail: “I am obviously disappointed that despite our efforts to engage with the other groups, they have decided to join together in a coalition to take control of the authority. This isn’t really what the electorate voted for and goes against the election statements put out by the liberal democrats about not voting Green or Labour. We shall be closely watching to ensure the coalition bring forward their various promises and hold them to account should they fail to do so.”