May 23rd, 2023.

Lewes Lib Dems release:

Liberal Democrats will be holding the new Green Party/Labour coalition to account on Lewes District Council as the opposition group. After a very good election result earlier in the month, the Lib Dems now have 15 councillors, an increase of seven, and will be aiming to gain the Lewes parliamentary seat at the next General Election.

The Conservatives lost all their seats, having won 19 at the previous election.

Talks to form a three party alliance to run the council failed after Labour’s National Executive Committee vetoed an outline deal. Talks between the Lib Dems and Green Party then took place to form a two party administration, but the Green Party were unwilling to continue with the rotating leadership that worked so well in the previous council making agreement not possible.

Liberal Democrat group leader, James MacCleary, said: “After a fantastic set of local election results we will now be looking forward to the General Election in Lewes constituency where the Lib Dems are the challengers to the Conservatives. We aim to be a constructive opposition to the new Green Party coalition with Labour.

“There are a lot of challenges coming down the line this year for the council including the new Local Plan and we will be holding the administration to account.

“It is clearly a disappointment that the Green Party were not prepared to form an alliance with us as they did last time round, but we intend to continue to work cooperatively for the best interests of all of our residents.”

Newly-elected Lib Dem councillor for Kingston ward, Stella Spiteri, added: “We’re all really excited to get started and to work constructively with our Green Party and Labour colleagues.

“We want to ensure that key Lib Dem-backed projects such as refurbishing the council’s play areas, regeneration in Newhaven, and getting the scaffolding down at Talland Parade are seen through to the end. We will also continue to strongly oppose the so-called ‘Eton New Town’ proposal as part of the new Local Plan process.”
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