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Labour will oppose council's new Independent-Conservative alliance

Created on 19/05/2017 @ 07:39
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Welsh Labour councillors have promised to robustly oppose Powys County Council’s new Independent-Conservative coalition.

The coalition of 30 Independent and 19 Conservative councillors was confirmed at yesterday’s county council annual meeting and brought an angry response from the Labour Group’s newly elected leader Matthew Dorrance.
“Welsh Labour Councillors will be a robust opposition,” said Mr Dorrance.

“The Tories record is one of failure.  They have shut the door on the poor, the disabled and the vulnerable.  It’s not strong and stable – It’s cruel and weak. Welsh Labour councillors will do all we can to protect our communities and stand up for Powys residents.” 

Deputy Welsh Labour Group Leader Cllr Susan McNicholas said: “My community can remember what the Tories did last time they ran services here. Welsh Labour will stand up for our communities.”

After being elected unopposed as the council’s first female Executive Leader Councillor Rosemarie Harris announced the coalition administration between the Independents and Conservatives.

She said: "I look forward to working as a team, all of us. I know by the nature of politics there will be an executive group and opposition.

"We can work in cooperation, collaboration, coalition. Whatever you call it."

At the first full meeting of the new council, she said she hoped to put Powys "more on the Welsh stage" but warned of further budget cuts.

She said: ""I recognise the challenge that we all face. We've had to take a lot of money out of the budget in the last few years and austerity is still with us so there will be more to take.

"But there are tremendous opportunities available, all we need to do is grasp them."

Councillor Harris said the authority is "slightly" going down the commercial route, having bought Ladywell House in Newtown, and part of it will be rented out.

She also said with the Right to Buy scheme suspended, there will be a "wonderful opportunity" to build homes in the county – the first council homes to be built in 40 years, according to the new leader.

Councillor Harris, who represents the Llangynidr ward, said: "We have so much to offer in this county."

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