LABOUR will continue to lead West Lancashire Borough Council under a minority administration following an agreement thrashed out at a full council meeting last week but they are no longer involved in important committees.
The agreement was reached following the local election results earlier this month which resulted in Labour losing overall control of the council but remaining the largest single party ahead of the Conservatives and the Our West Lancashire (OWL) party.
Labour Councillor Ian Moran will remain as leader of the borough council but an alliance was forged between the Conservatives and Our West Lancashire, which sees them now able to chair important committees, which had been run by Labour.
OWL councillor Gordon Johnson was elected mayor, and if numbers are tied in a vote, the mayor has a casting vote.
The Executive Overview Scrutiny Committee is now chaired by OWL group member Cllr Adrian Owens. The committee is made up of five Labour councillors, four Tories and two OWL members.
The planning committee is now chaired by Conservative councillor David O’Toole.
Labour’s plight was not helped as Labour councillor Ron Cooper was not at the meeting.
After this year’s election results Cllr Moran commented: “The next 12 months and beyond are going to be focused on rebuilding and strengthening our communities and our businesses post Covid.”
Councillor Owens commented: “Labour sought to carry on as if nothing had happened in the elections.
“They tried to dismiss the verdict of the voters – namely the loss of their majority.
“They attempted to take all the key positions. In neighbouring Labour councils in Chorley and Preston they offer Committee chairmanships on Scrutiny and Governance to opposition councillors.
“So, for Labour in West Lancashire to be so dismissive of local voters and try to maintain control of every committee was not acceptable. I’m pleased that instead we have committees which reflect the diverse make-up of the council and give a voice to all councillors.”