Joint media release from the Leaders of the Labour and Liberal Democrat Groups of North East Lincolnshire Council.
The Labour and Liberal Democrat Groups have agreed to work on key issues together for the benefit of the residents and businesses of North East Lincolnshire.
It is important at such a pivotal time for the Borough that clear political leadership and direction is demonstrated and that our communities are listened to.
Our agreement to work together is established on a confidence and supply basis. This is not a coalition.
The Leader of the Council will form a Cabinet from the membership of the Labour Group. The Labour Group will support the nomination of Liberal Democrat Group members to hold key Overview and Scrutiny Board, select committee and regulatory committee positions at the Annual General Meeting of the Council on the 24th May.
The Labour administration has led a major focus on local economic growth and the generation of significant opportunities for investment, jobs, skills and housing.
The Liberal Democrat Group does not disagree with this focus but the quality of the local street scene, the extent of littering, fly tipping and anti-social behaviour also requires more significant and direct attention.
We both agree that austerity has impacted significantly on the Council’s capacity to manage significant demand pressures and difficult decisions have had to be made. Nevertheless, the Labour Group has agreed to the Liberal Democrat proposal to review the extent of the Council’s investment in its Smarter Neighbourhoods programme, related enforcement activities and to work further with our communities to enhance civic pride and change behaviour. Everyone has a role to play in improving and sustaining the quality of our local environment.
We both strongly agree that the Council’s relationship with Engie needs to be the subject of a fundamental review. This work will commence in the coming weeks.
We have also agreed to review key infrastructure projects to ensure that they support the achievement of the Council’s economic growth ambitions.
Our agreement to work together is a reflection of our joint endeavour to work in the best interests of local people. The electorate have delivered a no overall political control position for the Council. The Labour Group recognises that collaborative working will be essential to taking the Borough forward. The Liberal Democrat Group recognises that working on a confidence and supply basis means that the Labour administration can be held to account effectively but, just as importantly, supported when it is legitimate and appropriate to do so.
Both Political Groups also recognise that all councillors have a role to play in supporting the progress of our Borough. To that end, the Labour and the Liberal Democrat Groups will not oppose any proposals from the Conservative Group for their members to chair the Council’s Scrutiny Panels.
We look forward to working together to build a stronger local economy and to supporting stronger, more resilient communities
Councillor Ray Oxby
Councillor Ian Barfield