What I wrote at Lib Dem Voice

May 19, 2006

Lib Dems take minority 'control' of Oxford

Two weeks ago, I wrote:
The Liberal Democrats are now the single largest party in Oxford - for the first time ever... Oxford continues to be a hung Council, which will doubtless make for some interesting times ahead... I plan to sleep on it.
Well, I've woken up now.

At yesterday's annual meeting of Full Council, the Lib Dems were elected to form a minority administration, with an Executive Board of seven portfolio holders. (The 'Magnificent Seven', as the local rag, surprisingly generously, labelled us.)

I drew the short straw, and have ended up responsible for 'Better Finances' in Oxford (Mr Council Tax to my friends). More details here.

This will be the first time in 26 years that a single party other than Labour has run the city. We don't underestimate the challenge that awaits us. Not only is Oxford rated a 'Weak' Council, putting it in the bottom 15% of councils across the country, but, with 18 Lib Dem councillors out of 48 seats, there are going to be some interesting Council debates in the year (or two?) ahead.

Still, where's the fun in an easy ride?


Jock Coats said...

Rather you than me!

But at least I know who I have to lobby now about getting a tripartite agreement to pilot LVT for Oxford...:)

Matt Sellwood said...

Congratulations on your appointment, Stephen. I look forward to some constructive debates on EB and in Council. I hope for Oxford's sake that we all manage to be mature about it!


Cllr David Morton said...

Is 18 out of 48 councillors responsibility with out power?

Stephen Tall said...

Jock - I shall look forward to finally understanding LVT; about the same time I crack how the hell STV works too.

Matt - thanks: I've reciprocated over at your gaff.

David - yes, pretty much. As I'm only in charge of budgets, I'm assuming I don't actually have to be that responsible...