Former Labour-run Durham County Council to be run by party alliance

An agreement has been reached by non-Labour councillors to run Durham County Council for the first time in a century.

BBC News 

The alliance, made up of Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, independents and a Green, plans to take over at the council’s annual meeting on Wednesday.

Labour was the largest party following the local elections, with 53 of 126 councillors, but lost overall control.

It said it was disappointed to have been excluded from alliance talks.

However, it added that it remained committed to working with other parties.

Leadership of the council will rotate between the partnership, with cabinet positions shared out.

‘Painful lesson’

Liberal Democrat Amanda Hopgood is due to take charge initially.

A partnership spokesperson said: “We recognise that, subject to a successful annual meeting, this will be a historic moment for Durham County Council.

“Not only will the council be run by a non-Labour administration for the first time, it will also have its first ever female leader.

“In building to this moment, the partners have demonstrated what can be achieved by focusing on the big picture and the best outcome for communities across the county.”

Councillor Carl Marshall, leader of Durham Labour Group, said: “Labour’s first and only priority at this moment in time is to play our part in creating a council that delivers for the people and businesses.

“To be excluded from talks between other political groups is not only disappointing, but it threatens to destabilise the significant progress we have made in laying the groundwork for 30,000 new jobs across Durham.

“Labour heard what people had to say in the May elections. It was a painful lesson, but one we accept and learn from.”