Coalition takes power in York and promises local plan change

New York Council deputy leader Keith Aspden
New York Council deputy leader Keith Aspden
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YORK will be run by a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition bringing an end to Labour’s four years in office.

Conservative group leader Christ Steward will be council leader while his Lib Dem counterpart Keith Aspden will take the deputy role.

York Council’s cabinet will be renamed the executive with seats shared equally between the two parties.

Labour lost its majority following defections last year and while it remained the largest single party after last week’s local elections that was only by a single seat margin over the Conservatives.

Working together will see the Tory-Lib Dem coaltion enjoy a five seat majority over the other parties.

The new coalition has promised to redraw the local plan which currently includes proposals for thousands of new homes in the city and has proved hugely controversial.

Coun Steward said: “I am delighted that we have put together an arrangement which will give direction and focus for York’s council.

“We will drive forward on the priorities we were elected upon of keeping council tax low, prioritising frontline services and delivering a local plan that protects our green belt.”

Coun Aspden said: “The message from the elections was that residents wanted change from the way Labour has run York since 2011. We have therefore agreed a set of joint policy priorities to bring about this change and to put the priorities of residents first.

“Crucially, we have come to an agreement to radically alter the local plan in order to protect the Green Belt and the character of York. This is not something Labour were prepared to consider either before or after the local elections. Yearsley Pool will be kept open and the services offered at Castlegate will be protected.”