THE leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Conservative group has stepped down following last week’s election.

Cllr Lynn Riley believes the time is right for her to stand aside as CWAC heads into no overall control, after her party lost seven seats.

The Frodsham councillor has been replaced by Cllr Margaret Parker, CWAC member for Gowy Rural and former leader of Chester City Council, who moves up from deputy Conservative group leader to group leader.

Cllr Riley said: “I have chosen to step down. I have led the group since 2016 and I was elected to lead them to win the local elections – which we obviously did not.


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“I felt it was appropriate and proper for me to step down and allow the group to set off under fresh leadership for a new challenge under no overall control – and to provide the council with an opportunity to engage fully with the Conservative councillors without any baggage from the previous administration.

“I will remain a full and supportive member of the team and will do everything I can to represent the people that put us here and deliver on what I believed was a very progressive plan.

“Just because we are not in control of the council, it does not diminish our ambitions for our residents.”

CWAC slipped into no overall control last week as the ruling Labour group lost its majority by just one seat, ending with 35 members to the Conservatives’ 28 – while four independent councillors, two Liberal Democrats and one Green member were also elected.


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Cllr Samantha Dixon, Labour group leader, spoke of the need to cooperate with other political groups following last week’s result – and Cllr Riley is confident that her party will have a role to play in the new administration.

She said: “It was not all doom and gloom – we have got some amazing new talent on the Conservative side of the chamber and we will put that to good use.

“I’m personally quite optimistic that the council being in no overall control should make for a better council with better policy.

“I would hope that Cllr Dixon would be a woman of her word – she had a lot to say about doing things together and making stronger communities at the count, and I think some communities have felt quite weakened by four years of Labour control.”


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