Liberal Democrats take charge at Cherwell District Council


David Hingley (centre) with fellow Liberal Democrats and Green and Independent councillors

It marks the end of a 24-year period the Conservatives have been in charge

David Hingley is the new Leader at Cherwell District Council.   The Leader of the Liberal Democrats was elected unopposed at last night’s Annual Meeting.

His Deputy Leader and the person in charge of the Finance Portfolio will be Lesley McLean.

Councillor Hingley’s appointment marks the end of a 24-year period of the Conservatives being in charge at Cherwell and comes after the Liberal Democrats increased their number of councillors to 17 at the local elections earlier this month.

Having found common ground with Green and Independent members the Council’s Cabinet has been built including their members.

Speaking to Banbury FM Councillor Hingley said it felt great to be the first new Leader in twenty years and highlighted how he planned to hit the ground running today.

He said: “We’re going to have a long meeting with the Chief Executive to discuss all the things that are going on in the Council.

“Some of our priorities include the local plan – with the development plan coming up over the summer which we are going to be looking at in some detail.

“We want to have a sound look at the finances, see where we are with those and make sure that the Council is able to continue delivering for residents and generally delivering for the whole district, for Banbury, for Bicester, for Kidlington and all the rural areas as well.”

The Liberal Democrats have not put their members forward to chair all the Council’s committees.

Councillor Hingley said that there was a specific reason for this: “We recognise that we are a minority administration as the Council is in no overall control, so we think it’s right and fair that we should approach this in a spirit of cooperation.

“One of the ways of doing that is to have different parties represented across the committees. All of the parties are represented on the committees tonight and we are happy to approach this task on that basis of cooperation.”

When asked if that policy could trip up the Liberal Democrats Councillor Hingley replied: “We’ll see if the other parties are willing to cooperate with us”.

Earlier during the meeting warm tributes were paid by the leaders of all political groups to Barry Wood, who had served as leader since 2004.   He will continue as a backbencher serving as the Councillor for Fringford and Heyfords.   He was also selected as the new Chairman of the Planning Committee.

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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