The main opposition shadow executive has been announced by new Labour Leader, Councillor Janet Looker.
Leading the shadow line up, Coun. Looker will take a new Leisure and Environment brief, including responsibility for Labour’s position on the critically important and evolving devolution agenda.
Deputy Leader Coun. Stuart Barnes retains the Education and Young People brief with the addition of community engagement, while Coun. David Levene moves to a new brief of transport, planning and economic development, including responsibility for key areas such as tourism and the Local Plan.
Remaining portfolios held by Barbara Boyce (Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods), Neil Barnes (Corporate Services) and Mary Cannon (Health and Adult Social Care) remain largely unchanged.
Coun. Looker said:
“I’m delighted with the strength I have in my shadow executive team, a team that will be ably supported by all Labour councillors in holding the current Executive to account.
“One of the team’s key tasks in the next couple of months will be preparing an alternative budget for 2015-16, a big challenge but something which will help to distinguish Labour from the current Tory-Lib Dem Coalition running the council.
“Our budget and indeed our whole policy approach will reflect our commitment to supporting those most in need, while also prioritising the importance of a burgeoning local economy as the council’s funding moves away from central Government funding, to dependence on local business rates income”.
The main opposition shadow executive has been announced by new Labour Leader, Councillor Janet Looker. Leading the shadow line up, Coun. Looker will take a new Leisure and Environment...
York Labour joined the rally to oppose the Trade Union Bill, on Saturday. Local MP Rachael Maskell, a former officer of the Unite union, addressed the meeting at St. Helen’s Square.
Rachael Maskell said
"The anti-Trade Union Bill is set to remove the basic human rights of workers, who, as a last resort, seek to take industrial action to leverage employers back round the table for further talks. It will leave the UK with the worst employment rights in Europe except for Bulgaria. In public services, where this bill will mean that half of employees will have to vote in an industrial action ballot and 40 per cent of the entire workforce will have to vote for action, a far higher threshold than MPs have to sit in the House of Commons, there are no obligations for government to engage with workers.
"Recent strikes have been provoked by ministers and mayors refusing to negotiate. If the government was serious about improving industrial relations and reducing disputes, they would get their house in order first. I will stand by workers who continue to exercise their human rights – no government can take this away."
The rally organisers and speakers.
Emma Hoddinott – Unison; Rachael Maskell MP; Shane Enright - Amnesty International; Neil Foster - Yorkshire and Humber TUC
York Labour joined the rally to oppose the Trade Union Bill, on Saturday. Local MP Rachael Maskell, a former officer of the Unite union, addressed the meeting at St. Helen’s...
Deputy Leader of City of York Council Labour Group, Coun. Stuart Barnes said:
“I am pleased to announce that following an election held within City of York Council’s Labour Group this evening, Councillor Janet Looker has been elected the new Leader of the Labour Group.
“This follows the recent decision of Councillor Dafydd Williams to step down as leader in order to focus more time on his family and career.
“Coun. Janet Looker becomes the leader of the council’s largest political group and main opposition to the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition administration.
"I'd like to welcome Coun. Looker to the role, as the Labour Group works to provide effective and constructive opposition to the coalition administration."
Coun. Looker said:
"Being in opposition is a huge challenge and one that I’m looking forward to taking on. I’d like to give thanks to my Labour colleagues for placing their trust in me as we look to make sure that the Tory-Lib Dem coalition administration is fully held to account.
“The funding outlook for York continues to be bleak with the Conservative Government looking to drive their politically motivated austerity programme for the foreseeable future. The Labour Group in York will work to show where alternatives can be found in order to maintain frontline services, promote a strong local economy and protect the city’s most vulnerable.
“The Labour Group don’t believe that our poorest residents should be targeted to pay for ‘nice to have’ services.”
"I thank Councillor Dafydd Williams for leading the group through a challenging period of change and reflection. I know he will be a huge benefit to the Labour Group from the backbenches and will look forward to challenging the administration where appropriate”.
Councillor Looker has been a councillor 30 years, so brings a wealth of experience to the role. She has served in a number of portfolio roles both in council control and in opposition. She has also served in a variety of other important roles during her time on the council.
Deputy Leader of City of York Council Labour Group, Coun. Stuart Barnes said: “I am pleased to announce that following an election held within City of York Council’s Labour Group...