- Green Party now in administration in 18 councils across the country
- Green group has pledged to focus on helping city through coronavirus crisis
- Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty: “Greens are united in our determination to see the city through our many current challenges and will work with all parties in order to get this achieved”
The Green Party is now running Brighton and Hove City Council (BHCC) as a minority administration after two Labour resignations tipped the balance of power.
The Greens were left the largest party on the council with 19 councillors after Labour were left with 18 councillors following the resignations.
A motion to transfer power to the Greens was passed at a full council meeting yesterday [Thursday 23 July]. It means the Green Party is now in administration in 18 councils across the country – the highest number in its history.
Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty has now become the council leader, while Councillor Hannah Clare and Councillor Sue Shanks are deputy leaders.
Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, said:
“This is a critical time for our city which faces a multitude of challenges, among them the impact of Covid-19 on our communities and economy, the desperation of the homeless and the accelerating climate and nature crisis.
“I know Phélim Mac Cafferty and his colleagues will do everything they can to address these and other challenges, and will work tirelessly and cross-party for the good of our amazing city.
“I will continue to press ministers to make good on their promises from the spring to ‘do whatever is necessary to support councils in their response to coronavirus’. The reality is that BHCC is facing a funding shortfall of as much as £39 million because of the impact of the virus, and the Government’s commitment of £500 million shared across more than 360 councils in England and Wales isn’t going to do much to close the gap.”
Green peer Jenny Jones, Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb, said:
“I’m delighted that in my home town the Greens have a chance to benefit every community and implement measures that will make a safe and secure future for all.
“This is clearly a difficult time for everybody in Brighton and Hove, but let’s hope the whole council pulls together to build back better and ensure we have a green recovery from coronavirus.
“However, with the Greens in control we can be confident that the needs and the well-being of the local community will always be put first during this crisis.”
Councillor Mac Cafferty said:
“The Greens are proud to be leading Brighton and Hove City Council and we will do everything in our power to ensure our city and its residents are supported at a time of crisis.
“Now more than ever the people of Brighton and Hove deserve a green recovery from the Covid-19 crisis and we stand fully behind initiatives such as the mass insulation of homes, that will create jobs, reduce emissions and warm peoples’ homes.
“We have come into administration when the council’s finances are the worst we have ever known them and around the country the outlook for local government has never been bleaker with several councils now on the verge of bankruptcy.
“Residents at this time expect all of us to play our part for the city and we will work cross party where possible when it is in our city’s best interests to do so. We are united in our determination to see the city through our many current challenges and will work with all parties in order to get this achieved.”
Further details of the group’s plans will be unveiled in the coming weeks.