This May saw elections like no other, and after a long weekend of counting, I’m pleased to say that our numbers increased along with our position on council administrations.
Within the LGA, we have also increased our proportion of members, and we remain the third-largest group in terms of the number of councillors, with more than 500 more councillors than the Liberal Democrats.
“There is a credible and trusted alternative to the big Westminster parties”
To all of our new members, welcome to the LGA Independent Group. We represent and support all Independent, Green and smaller-party councillors across England and Wales, and we very much look forward to working with you. To our returning members, congratulations on a successful campaign. This year’s elections again demonstrated that there is a credible and trusted alternative to the big Westminster parties.
As with all elections, we also lost some brilliant councillors, and we pass on our thanks to all of those who were unsuccessful this year – they have contributed so much to their residents.
It is not easy standing as an Independent or smaller-party candidate, and on behalf of the whole group we want to congratulate those who stood, and those who supported them, in seats in every region of England, as well as for the Senedd in Wales (see p29).
As a group, we move forward bigger in number and will be hoping to influence the Government’s agenda, recently announced in the Queen’s Speech.
Further changes to our planning system are imminent, along with the levelling up fund, the delayed Environment Bill impacting on our waste and recycling services, and maybe some overdue clarity on a long-term solution for social care.
We also expect plans to potentially link devolution to our council structures, although this has yet to be announced.We now also turn our attention to our group elections, as we do every two years. This year, you will be asked to vote for group leader, deputy leader and treasurer. We are holding our elections electronically for the first time and your ballot paper will be emailed to you on 3 June. Please look out for this and cast your votes.