Warrington Lib Dem News

New Council Group leaders

19 May 2024
Mark and Helen standing in a street in Grappenhall

Liberal Democrats on Warrington Borough Council have chosen Councillor Mark Browne to succeed Bob Barr as Leader of their Group. Councillor Helen Speed was chosen as the new Deputy Leader. They were both elected to the Council in 2022 at a by-election. Mark is a retired solicitor and Helen is a former Director of Nursing and Health Commissioner.

Mark says: We were delighted to gain four seats at the local elections and regain our position as the party of opposition. Although these were only local elections, it was clear that many people wanted to send the government a message and there is now only one Conservative on the Council. Residents appreciate that we work hard to look after their interests and let them know what is going on through regular FOCUS leaflets.

We intend to hold the Labour Administration to account and act in a responsible manner. If it is in the best interests of people in the town, we will offer cross-party support. Shortage of funds is a massive problem facing most of the councils in the country. It is vital we find ways to generate income to protect vital public services. Our Council has hit the headlines by taking some risks we would not have taken, had we been in charge. More openness and transparency are required and we are pleased the Council has already started to put changes into place to improve governance.

Another priority for us is the green agenda. We feel passionately about this, whether it is more measures to combat climate change, improved air quality, more recycling, green spaces or more generally improving the environment to make the town an attractive place in which to live and work.

Helen adds: Thank you to everyone who has shown their support for us at the elections. Together we can make real change happen in communities across Warrington and we will demonstrate the power of co-operation in action. At the last Council meeting, we received unanimous support for our motion to set up a new Housing Policy Committee. It is excellent news that this is to be established for the new Council year. There is a national housing crisis which can have a damaging effect on a whole range of people in our communities. Setting up this dedicated Committee will not provide instant solutions to all the issues, but it will provide a forum for bringing together housing matters and coming up with proposals for improvement.

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