New 'progressive alliance' to run Wyre Forest Council

By Peter Madeley | Wyre Forest | Local Elections 2019 | Published:

A trio of political groups from across the party divide are set to join forces to form a "progressive alliance" to run Wyre Forest District Council.

Councillor Graham Ballinger is to be the new leader of Wyre Forest District Council

The leadership of the authority was thrown into turmoil after last week's local elections, which saw the Tories drop seven seats to lose overall control.

The Conservative group has announced it will step aside at the end of the month, paving the way for a new ruling administration involving three groups.

Ian Miller, the council’s chief executive, said: “Following the elections on May 2, political groups have been formed.

"I have met the leaders of the Independent Community and Health Concern group and the Independent, Liberal Democrat and Green group.

“They have indicated that, together with the Labour Group, they intend to support the appointment of Councillor Graham Ballinger as Leader of the Council at the meeting on May 22.”

Former Liberal councillor Mr Ballinger was named as chairman of the Independent Community and Health Concern group last year. He won a seat in the Franche and Habberley North ward in last week's poll.

Once he is elected he will then appoint other councillors to join the cabinet.

Tory Marcus Hart will continue as leader of the council until the meeting.


Mr Ballinger said: “This is an opportunity to take a fresh look at the way things are done in Wyre Forest and to create unity across all political parties going forward.

"The Conservatives have done their best but they public have said they want Health Concern as number one."

The Health Concern group grew out of the projected closure of Kidderminster Hospital years ago and has gone on to become a party battling for all aspects of a healthy community, including educations, support for the elderly and transport.

After the latest local elections the Conservatives were left with 14 seats, Independent Community and Health Concern have nine, Independent, Liberal Democrat and Green have eight and Labour hold two.

Peter Madeley

By Peter Madeley

Political Editor for the Express & Star. Responsible for local and national political stories, opinion, comment and analysis.


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