Update: Green administration for Brighton & Hove City Council

The Green Group has taken over administration of the council. Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty is the new leader of the council.

The decision was made at a Full Council meeting this afternoon (Thursday 23 July). 

New leader

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty, Leader of the council, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has left the city’s residents, businesses and our health under increased strain. Greens come into administration when the council’s finances are the worst we have ever known them. 

“Around the country the outlook for local government has never been bleaker with several councils now on the verge of bankruptcy. We know residents need support at this time, and we are committed to acting in the city’s best interests.

“As we have said publicly this week: it is clear neither party can claim a majority to lead our city alone. Every party needs to play its part. What’s more, politicians are not the only voices: and this is about fostering a spirit of collaboration across our city.

“I want our city to be successful both pandemic or none and I can give a guarantee this evening that I will leave no stone unturned in the quest to do the right thing for our citizens, our environment and our city. We stand ready to serve the city.”

Yesterday all three leaders of the main political parties issued a joint statement stating they are working together in the best interests of all in Brighton & Hove to provide stability following two recent resignations in the Labour Group which changed the balance of power in the administration of the council.

Working together

At today’s meeting councillors considered a report from the Chief Executive, Geoff Raw, outlining the options. The Chief Executive explained Group Leaders have indicated that they will continue to work together in the best interests of the city.

It was agreed the Green group would form a new administration effective from now. Details of the new committee chairs are below. 

The Labour Group will form the official opposition.

Cllr Nancy Platts, Leader of the Opposition, said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to lead the city I love over the past year. 

“I’m so lucky to call this city home, and it is with great pride that I have led the city council, putting progressive policies into action, and representing Brighton & Hove at a regional and national level. 

“Now, it is important to bring the city together - at this time of unprecedented public health and economic crisis - and enable a smooth transition of administration to the largest party.”

The main business due to be considered at today’s meeting has been postponed. This will be heard at a special council meeting which will take place next month. Today’s meeting was due to have a high level of public involvement around petitions and questions from residents. It was felt that this business needed to be given proper attention at a later date and as soon as possible.

The meeting started later than planned after technical problems delayed the publishing of the committee papers. It is a legal requirement for the papers to be available.  

More information

New committee chairs:

  • Policy & Resources Committee: Cllr Mac Cafferty (Green Group)
  • Children, Young People & Skills Committee: Cllr Clare (Green Group)
  • Environment, Transport & Sustainability: Cllr West and Cllr Heley (joint chair) (Green Group)
  • Housing Committee: Cllr Gibson and Cllr Hugh-Jones (joint chair) (Green Group)
  • Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee: Cllr Ebel and Cllr Powell (joint chair) (Green Group)
  • Audit & Standards Committee: Cllr Yates (Labour Group)
  • Licensing & Licensing Committees: Cllr Deane (Green Group)
  • Planning Committee: Cllr Littman (Green Group)
  • Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee: Cllr Evans (Labour Group)
  • Health & Wellbeing Board: Cllr Shanks (Green Group)

The council’s memberships is currently as follows:

  • 19 from the Green Group
  • 18 from the Labour Group
  • 13 from the Conservative Group
  • 4 independents