New leader for Babergh as coalition confirmed

Pictured, left to right, are David Busby, Deborah Saw, John Ward. Photo: Babergh District Council.

David Busby has been elected leader of the new coalition administration at Babergh District Council.

The Green, Independent and Liberal Democrat groups agreed ahead of the Annual Council Meeting to form a coalition administration for the next four years.

No party achieved an overall majority in the May 4 elections.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Liberal Democrats are providing the leader for the first year of the council term – with councillor Busby elected at the meeting.

Deborah Saw (Green) and John Ward (Independent) were elected as the coalition’s deputy political leaders.

The Green Party, which won most seats in the election, will provide the leader for the second and fourth years of the council term, and Independents for the third year.

Councillor Busby said: “It’s a privilege to be elected as leader in the first year and I can’t wait to get started. The agreement between the coalition groups is a mature approach to power-sharing – we’ll all be working together to make our fantastic district even better.”

Councillor Saw said: “We are all ambitious for our district and are committed to bringing forward fresh ideas and practical solutions that will make a difference to people’s lives. We’ll now discuss our collective priorities, with one focus, the interests, concerns and wellbeing of our residents and their communities.”

And councillor Ward added: “This is an innovative, balanced agreement between coalition partners and we will work hard to provide a stable administration which acts in the best interests of our residents and businesses in the next four years.”

A cabinet of eight councillors will be appointed from across the coalition parties. The political balance of this will be four Green, three Independent and one Liberal Democrat.

The Greens, Independents and Liberal Democrats will work collaboratively to agree policy positions but remain separate groups.

The coalition agreement was signed by the three group leaders ahead of the AGM.

Elisabeth Malvisi has been elected the new chair of the council and will be naming her chosen charities in due course, with Simon Dowling elected vice-chair.

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