York & North Yorkshire

Tory-Lib Dem coalition to run City of York council

York city council will be run by a coalition of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats it has been announced.

The two groups have joined forces to take control of the previously Labour-run authority with the executive made up of four members of each party.

No party had overall control following the local elections on 7 May.

Conservative councillor Chris Steward has been named as the new leader and Liberal Democrat councillor Keith Aspden was appointed as deputy.

'Bring change'

City of York Council is made up of 15 Labour councillors, 14 Conservatives, 12 Liberal Democrats, four Greens and two independents.

The two ruling parties have issued a joint policy agreement which states the coalition will provide "stable leadership" and put the "needs of residents first before narrow political interest".

A joint governance agreement has also been published.

Gemma Dillon, BBC Radio York political reporter

Under Labour's term in office from 2011 there had been reports of secrecy.

In contrast, the new administration say they want to improve openness and transparency by introducing more cross-party working.

The coalition partners have published a 12-point policy programme - which amount to a manifesto.

They include redrawing York's local plan, saying it will deliver much needed housing in the city and keeping Yearsley Pool open.

Greater investment into frontline services also plays a part in their agreement, they want to increase funding for road repairs, streetlights and gulley cleaning.

The partnership say they will also end so called vanity projects which were backed by the previous Labour administration.

The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats also claim the agreement will provide some stability for the authority.

Mr Steward said he was "delighted" with the arrangement, adding: "This will be an administration that engages with and listens to residents and we will respect the views of other parties."

Mr 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."

The leaders of the Labour and Green groups will be invited to attend and speak at Executive meetings.

Councillor Dafydd Williams, outgoing council leader and leader of the Labour group, said: "I hope that they do a good job in the interests of the people of York."

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