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Archive - Thursday, 29 May 2003
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Lib Dem to be leader
LIBERAL Democrat Councillor Alan Davies has agreed to take up his role as leader of Pendle Council after threatening to resign over the political make-up of the Executive committee two weeks ago.
He made the threat to the council after the Labour and Conservative groups voted in a structure which would involve four Liberal Democrat councillors, three labour and three Conservative taking their seats on the decision-making committee.
Coun Davies' group had proposed a 5-3-2 make-up believing that since 44 per cent of the electorate chose to vote for them, the executive should reflect that. The vote at the annual council meeting resulted in the Labour group taking three seats, the Conservatives taking three seats and the Liberal Democrats refusing to put forward any nominations.
But less than 36 hours before tonight's first Executive meeting of the new year, Coun Davies announced he would accept the position of leader but said he had called for a special council meeting to further discuss the role of the Liberal Democrats on the Executive.
A statement said: "Pendle's Liberal Democrats decided this week that Pendle's future was so important that they had to take a full part in running the council despite objecting to a deal between other groups which gave the Conservatives as many places on the Executive as they were allocated.
"Much of the work of the council over the coming year will decide how Pendle is viewed by the region, the Government and others who provide funds for many years to come and they believe that can be best achieved by having a full Liberal Democrat presence in the running of the council.
"That programme includes decisions on the future of the council owned houses, producing a Local Plan that will decide where housing and industrial land will be, joint working with other councils, the future of private sector housing and a major inspection by government agencies."
Coun Davies said: "The leader has an Executive place by right and to split the rest 3-3-3 is plainly gerrymandering and ignoring the results of the elections.
"However, Pendle's future is much more important than that. The amount of work that Pendle has to do over the coming months will have implications for many years to come."