Independent Group and Labour enter 12-month agreement to run Cheshire East Council

The Independent Group and Labour have announced they have entered into an agreement which will see them run a shared Cabinet for a fixed term of 12 months until it is replaced with a committee-based system.

The announcement follows the recent elections which resulted in the Topires losing their their majority on Cheshire East Council for the first time since the council was formed in April 2009 - leaving no party with overall control of the council.

The Leader of the Labour Group, Sam Corcoran, will be the new Leader of Cheshire East Council, whilst the Leader of the Independent Group, Craig Browne, will be Deputy Leader of the Council. 

The two groups will share the responsibility of running the transition cabinet with Labour taking the majority of the cabinet places after negotiation with the Independent Group. The Conservatives will fulfil the scrutiny function, which oversees how each department operates.

This announcement means the current system where eight Cabinet members run the council will be scrapped and replaced with a committee-based system in May 2020, the start of the next municipal year. The transition agreement with Labour and the Conservatives will then end.

Sam Corcoran, Leader of the Labour Group on Cheshire East Council, said; 'The electors of Cheshire East clearly rejected the previous rotten Conservative administration in the elections on 2nd May. Labour recorded its highest ever number of votes, share of the vote, and the number of Labour councillors elected - 25.

"Therefore, we have put into place a transition arrangement for the governance of the Council for the next twelve months with support of the largest Independent group.

"The agreement with the Independent Group will ensure that services continue to be delivered, provide re-assurance to staff and partners and enable us to start work on delivering Labour's manifesto for Cheshire East, whilst replacing the shambolic Conservative regime that has brought so much discredit and criticism upon Cheshire East Council."

The Leader of the Independent Group, Craig Browne said "We would like to thank the residents of Cheshire East for their votes and for trusting us to deliver the change they so desperately want to see. They gave us 25% of Cheshire East Councillors and with no party in overall control we have had to make the very difficult decision of who will deliver its vital public services AND reform how it is run in the future.

"There are aspects of working with both major parties which give us cause for concern and we have not taken this decision lightly. However, this 12-month agreement is necessary to bring about the vital changes needed to ensure Cheshire East operates in an open and transparent manner for the years to come.

"The transition agreement means we can deliver this change within 12 months. We have asked the Conservatives to act as watchdog over our daily management of the council, but they will not be able to block key reforms.

"We think this is the most sensible way to ensure we deliver key services and the vital changes our voters asked us to introduce."

Photo: Craig Browne and Sam Corcoran.

Cheshire East Council


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Terry Bowes
Tuesday 14th May 2019 at 5:03 pm
Well done Craig, let’s hope there’s no more rotten apples left in the barrel!