Stevenage Liberal Democrats vote against proportional representation to decide council opposition

The Labour-controlled Stevenage Borough Council has voted through the proposal despite opposition fr

The Labour-controlled Stevenage Borough Council has voted through the proposal despite opposition from Liberal Democrats - Credit: Archant

Liberal Democrat councillors haven broken tradition with the party norm by voting against proportional representation.

Liberal Democrat councillors haven broken tradition with the party norm by voting against proportional representation.

All three Lib Dem councillors voted against Stevenage Borough Council’s motion to elect a leader of the opposition by proportional representation at a full council meeting this month.

At the moment the council has no official opposition as both the Lib Dems and Conservatives are tied on three seats each and have been unable to form a coalition.

This move, which was passed at the meeting, would mean whichever party polled the highest percentage across all wards would be elected, if parties were tied on the number of seats.


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The council’s Liberal Democrat group leader Councillor Robin Parker said: “This is a bad way to pick a leader of the opposition. This system is not used by any other council and we oppose it.”

Council leader Sharon Taylor said: “You have had over a year to organise a coalition but have failed. It is in the interests of this council to have an opposition and this system will ensure that there is one.”

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The system will be introduced in the event of a tied result from elections from next year.

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