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New leader for Babergh as coalition is confirmed

Posted by on 23 May 2023 | Comments

Cllr David Busby has been elected leader of the new coalition administration at Babergh District Council.

The Green, Independent and Liberal Democrat groups agreed ahead of this evening’s Annual Council Meeting to form a coalition administration for the next four years.

No party achieved an overall majority in the May 4 elections.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Liberal Democrats are providing the leader for the first year of the council term - with Cllr Busby elected at the meeting.

Cllr Deborah Saw (Green) and Cllr John Ward (Independent) were elected as the coalition’s deputy political leaders.

The Green Party, which won most seats in the election, will provide the leader for the second and fourth years of the council term, and Independents for the third year.

Cllr Busby said: “It’s a privilege to be elected as leader in the first year and I can’t wait to get started. The agreement between the coalition groups is a mature approach to power-sharing - we’ll all be working together to make our fantastic district even better.”

Cllr Saw said: "We are all ambitious for our district and are committed to bringing forward fresh ideas and practical solutions that will make a difference to people's lives. We’ll now discuss our collective priorities, with one focus, the interests, concerns and wellbeing of our residents and their communities.”

Cllr Ward said: “This is an innovative, balanced agreement between coalition partners, and we will work hard to provide a stable administration which acts in the best interests of our residents and businesses in the next four years.”

A cabinet of eight councillors will be appointed from across the coalition parties. The political balance of this will be four Green, three Independent and one Liberal Democrat.

The Greens, Independents and Liberal Democrats will work collaboratively to agree policy positions but remain separate groups.

The coalition agreement was signed by the three group leaders ahead of this evening’s meeting.

Cllr Elisabeth Malvisi has been elected the new chair of the council and will be naming her chosen charities in due course, with Cllr Simon Dowling elected vice-chair.