Opposition group takes on new leadership at Suffolk County Council

Deputy leader Caroline Page and new leader Andrew Stringer have taken the helm of the second largest

Deputy leader Caroline Page and new leader Andrew Stringer have taken the helm of the second largest political group at Suffolk County Council. Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

As the battle for the leadership of the ruling Conservative group hots up, the second largest group at Suffolk County Council has had a less high-profile change at the top.

The Liberal Democrat, Green, and Independent group at the count has elected a new top team of Andrew Stringer and Caroline Page.

The group came together in the wake of last year’s county council elections to allow the smaller parties to come together to work alongside each other and share administrative support.

Long-serving Liberal Democrat David Wood stood down allowing the Green Party’s Mr Stringer and LibDem Ms Page to step into the top jobs.

At today’s AGM, the Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent Group elected a new leadership team. As of the 4 May, the Leader is Andrew Stringer (Green) and the Deputy Leader is Caroline Page (Liberal Democrat).

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Mr Wood said: “In keeping with the spirit of a collaborative multi-party group, we agreed that the leadership and deputy leadership should change. Andrew is a passionate local politician and I know the Group is in very capable hands.”

Mr Stringer said: “I would like to wholeheartedly thank David Wood for his sterling work in bringing this vibrant group together. We’re all very excited at the prospect of building on his solid foundation. We will continue to hold this administration to account and work for the good of residents across Suffolk.”

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And Ms Page added: “David has been a fantastic leader, and I am excited to be taking on this new responsibility alongside Andrew. As a group we all believe gender balance in politics is important, so it is pleasing to see this better reflected within our own leadership structures.”

Meanwhile the battle for the Conservative group, and ultimately the leadership of the county council itself, has intensified as challenger Matthew Hicks and current leader Colin Noble search for votes among the 52 Tory councillors.

Tory members have been invited for discussions about the two men’s views of how the council should be run – and supporters of each claim to be confident of victory in next Friday’s leadership election.

Mr Noble has led the council since 2015 and Mr Hicks has been a member of the county’s cabinet since that year.

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