Update regarding Stockport Council following the Local Elections

Following the local elections earlier this month, Labour and the Liberal Democrats ended up in a dead heat, each having 26 of the 63 seats on the council, with a small number of Conservative and Independent Ratepayer councillors holding the balance of power.

During the past week there have been intensive negotiations between the Groups which have ended up with agreement that Labour will continue as a minority administration, with no formal support from any other Group, and the Liberal Democrats will remain the main opposition and Chair all five of the Council’s Scrutiny Committees to hold Labour to account.

Speaking after the negotiations had completed, Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Stockport Council, said: “We were delighted to make such great progress at the local elections. We conceded that Labour could form the administration for a further year but the Group Leaders had to acknowledge that a dead heat between the main Groups plus a shrinking Conservative Group meant the Lib Dems should control Scrutiny. We will continue to work constructively at the town hall but we will be holding the minority Labour administration to account.”

Deputy Leader, Cllr Lisa Smart, added: “The outcome reflects the political reality of the number of councillors each Group has plus Labour having the mayor’s casting vote for the year ahead. We are looking forward to a very interesting year ahead.”

Joint statement re extremists campaigning in Stockport

“As the Leaders of the four groups on Stockport Council we were disappointed to hear that a former member of the BNP and former leader of the EDL plans to campaign in Stockport today. We believe there should be no place in our world for the politics of hatred and division that these people represent. They seek to pit person against person on the basis of race, ethnicity or beliefs and to undermine community cohesion. We are confident residents will continue to support the inclusive approach which all political groups on Stockport Council have repeatedly endorsed.

Cllr Elise Wilson, Leader of the Labour Group
Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group
Cllr Mike Hurleston, Leader of the Conservative Group
Cllr Adrian Nottingham, Leader of the Independent Ratepayers Group”

Liberal Democrats make huge gains at local elections

Following outstanding electoral success last Thursday evening, Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of the Liberal Democrats at Stockport Town Hall, said:

“What a terrific night Liberal Democrats, across the country but particularly in Stockport. We won ten of the twenty one seats up for election, the largest of any single party and, in the process, took back every seat the Tories took from us in 2015. We are now level on seats with Labour and have more seats to gain next year. I’d like to pay tribute to all of my colleagues for their efforts across the borough and I hope they share my pleasure that we have been so well rewarded at the ballot box.

“Our thoughts now turn to who runs the council as we are now on level pegging with Labour and gained by far the largest share of the vote across Stockport as a whole. As reported in the local press, negotiations have started and will need to be complete in time for the Annual Council Meeting on 21st May. The real work in making Stockport a better place to live and work continues.”

Cllr Lisa Smart, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader, added: “These elections have been a huge blow for the Tories and they look set to experience a further rejection by voters in the forthcoming European Elections. I hope local voters who supported the Liberal Democrats on Thursday and who, like us, want to stop Brexit will vote for us again on 23rd May.”

County up as champions

Stockport’s Liberal Democrats have congratulated Stockport County FC on winning promotion to the National League. County were crowned champions of the National League North following their 3-0 away win at Nuneaton on Saturday.

Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group at Stockport Town Hall said “I join all County fans in saluting the achievements of Jim Gannon and his team in securing the title after a long, hard season. County have battled back from adversity many times over the years and deserve their success. I hope we see the team back in their rightful place – in the Football League – before too long.”

The Liberal Democrats have called on Stockport Council to host a civic reception for the club to celebrate their success.

Stockport Council Lib Dems support Jewish Manifesto for Local Government

Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Stockport Council, today confirmed our support for the Board of British Jews “Jewish Manifesto for Local Government” and its ten commitments.

Cllr Hunter said: “With the resurgence of intolerance and populism and the increase in expressions of antisemitic and anti-Muslim hatred it is important that we all stand together and reject extremism and racism in all its forms. As Liberal Democrats we are proud of our record of supporting tolerance and promoting freedoms and we wholeheartedly support the ten commitments and the wider Jewish Manifesto for Local Government.”

The manifesto can be found here.

Greater Manchester Spatial Framework Consultation

Stockport’s Liberal Democrat Group have submitted a detailed response to the consultation on the latest draft of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, highlighting their concerns and areas which they feel need to be improved in the next draft.

The consultation response can be found here:

Lib Dem response to GMSF Consultation 03/2019