Burnley Independent Group, Green Party and Liberal Democrats share power on Burnley Council in fallout from Gaza conflict
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The new shared administration for the council will see the newly-established Burnley Independent Group, Green Party and Liberal Democrats share power in a “co-operative alliance”, a move which has been slammed by the Labour group.
The new shared administration comprises the Burnley Independent, Liberal Democrat and Green groups taking two seats each on a new six-member cabinet.
Council leader, Coun. Afrasiab Anwar who led the defection with nine Labour colleagues, hailed the new administration as “providing stability” to the council following a week of cross-party discussions and negotiations.
He said: “I'm delighted to announce that we will be working with the Lib Dem and Green groups to deliver on the borough’s priorities.
“The most important thing is to continue to push ahead with the strategic plan and provide stability for the council. I look forward to working with both groups, all elected members and the new executive to deliver for Burnley and Padiham.”
Green Group leader Coun. Scott Cunliffe, who will become cabinet member for Sustainable Development and Growth, said he was excited to serve in the new cabinet “working collaboratively with all members on an ambitious programme of priorities that address inequality, the cost of living crisis and will attract sustainable investment in the urban and rural areas of our town.”
But the news was met with anger from Labour who accused the other groups of creating instability and chaos.
A statement from Labour said: “The mission of the Labour-led Burnley Council was to deliver cleaner streets, good quality housing, stronger communities and new opportunities across all the communities of Burnley and Padiham. This is what we’ve done.
“The Labour Group are proud of their achievements such as supporting people with the spiralling cost of living, delivering Pioneer Place, turning Burnley into a university town and the Padiham town centre regeneration.
“The decision of the newly independent council leader, who was elected on a Labour ticket, to now form a coalition with minor parties, thereby ignoring the mandate upon which he was elected, has already created instability and chaos at the council.
“Important meetings have been cancelled and decisions not made. This is especially unacceptable during a severe cost of living crisis, people want good council services and effective leadership for the town.
“Labour has supplied that and this was not the time for the council leader to play party politics with people’s services.”
Labour leader Coun. Mark Townsend added that Labour would be holding the new administration to account.
He said: “We are proud of our record and disappointed to be leaving office due to matters that are totally unrelated to providing good local services and major projects for the people of the town in these tough times.
“Labour will be working harder than ever, both at the council and in all communities across the Borough, in holding this new administration to account to ensure that the progress made under Labour is built on and not lost.”
In 2023 the Greens became the joint second biggest party in the borough with seven seats.