The Council was previously led by a Conservative majorityJOHN SUTTON/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Liberal Democrat Councillor Lucy Nethsingha has been appointed as the leader of Cambridgeshire County Council.

She will lead an alliance of Liberal Democrats, Labour, and Independents that was formalised at the County Council’s general meeting on Tuesday (18/05).

Councillor Nethsingha said: “This new joint administration is an opportunity for a change in direction in both policies and culture on Cambridgeshire County Council.”

The Conservative Party lost its majority on the County Council at the local elections earlier this month. However, they remain the largest party, holding 28 of the 61 seats available.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democratic, Labour and Independent parties hold 20, 9 and 4 seats respectively on the County Council.

“The past four years of Conservative dominance have seen heavy cuts to our council services,” Councillor Nethsingha continued, “a deterioration in quality of service for many of our residents, combined with allegations of bullying and sleaze, and it is time for a change.”

As part of the agreement signed by the three parties yesterday (21/05), the leader of the Labour group, Elisa Meschini, was appointed Deputy Leader of the Council.

Upon its formation, the new administration decreased the number of Council committees from seven to five, and also cut councillor allowances, the remuneration councillors receive for their work, by £72,000 for the year.

Nethsingha said the joint administration agreement is a “tribute to the common recognition” of changes that are “urgently needed” at the council.


Mountain View

Local Elections 2021: Labour holds majority on City Council

In particular, she pledged to “renew” investment in young people as they have “missed out on so much over the past year”, as well as help small businesses, improve adult education, reduce health inequality, and “accelerate” towards the aim of a carbon-neutral County.

Councillor Steve Count, leader of the Conservative opposition on the Council, called the new administration an “unholy alliance”, adding that many of the new administration’s plans “come with a price tag”.

He said the Conservatives will work with the joint administration in a spirit of “collaboration”, but warned that “we won’t just roll over and have our bellies tickled. If we don’t like something, we will let you know”.