West Suffolk's first Labour leader in two decades has been announced as part of the council's new administration.

At last night's annual council meeting, Councillor Cliff Waterman was appointed as the new district council leader.

After no majority was gained by any party at the local elections earlier this month, the West Suffolk Progressive Alliance Grouping and the Independents have agreed to form the new administration under the title of West Suffolk Working Partnership (WSWP).

Independent councillor Victor Lukaniuk will be deputy leader of the new West Suffolk Council, alongside the following cabinet portfolio holders:

  • Planning: Cllr Jim Thorndyke (Independent)
  • Housing: Cllr Richard O'Driscoll (Labour)
  • Resources: Cllr Diane Hind (Labour)
  • Families and Communities: Cllr Donna Higgins (Labour)
  • Leisure: Cllr Ian Shipp (Independent)
  • Growth: Cllr Indy Wijenayaka (Labour)
  • Operations: Cllr David Taylor (Independent)
  • Governance and Regulatory: Cllr Gerald Kelly (Independent)

Cllr Cliff Waterman is the first Labour leader of West Suffolk Council in 20 years, taking over from John Griffiths who announced he would be stepping down in early April.

Cllr Waterman said: “I am delighted to have been elected to lead this council and deliver the priorities of all councillors who have come together as the West Suffolk Working Partnership.

"We recognise all communities and businesses across West Suffolk are currently facing enormous challenges and we are focused on working together to tackle these.

"We also have enormous assets in the shape of our people, businesses and heritage, and we will be working with partner organisations to make the most of them.

"In the coming days, I will be outlining our priorities and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the WSWP and everyone in West Suffolk to help make West Suffolk the very best place in which to live, work or visit.”