The Conservative Group’s new Shadow Cabinet will lead the charge to protect residents from the Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition’s inevitable failures.
Despite the Conservative Group emerging from this month’s local elections as the largest party, South Gloucestershire Council is now being run by a coalition, the result of two full weeks of secret talks and backroom deals between Labour and the Lib Dems.
And the Conservative Group has tonight unveiled its new Shadow Cabinet – the nine councillors who will lead the charge to protect South Gloucestershire from the chaos of a joint Labour-Lib Dem administration.
The Shadow Cabinet members are:
- Cllr Sam Bromiley: Conservative Group Leader and Shadow Member for Council Governance
- Cllr Liz Brennan: Conservative Group Deputy Leader and Shadow Member for Planning, Regeneration and Infrastructure
- Cllr Erica Williams: Shadow Member for Education, Skills, Employment and Business
- Cllr Ben Stokes: Shadow Member for Adults and Homes
- Cllr Matthew Riddle: Shadow Member for Children and Young People
- Cllr Jo Buddharaju: Shadow Member for Climate and Nature Emergency
- Cllr Rachael Hunt: Shadow Member for Communities and Local Place
- Cllr Franklin Owusu-Antwi: Shadow Member for Cost of Living, Equalities and Public Health
- Cllr Sanjay Shambhu: Shadow Member for Resources
The Shadow team contains a strong balance between members who have served in previous administrations and ones that have performed well as ward councillors and committee members. It is diverse and contains a wide range of age groups.
Cllr Sam Bromiley, Leader of the Conservative Group, said: “This leadership team contains talented and hard working councillors with proven track records of delivering for local residents, and I’m delighted to be working with them, and my wider Conservative colleagues, to hold what is already a fragile coalition to account.
“The new administration must put the best interests of residents at the heart of everything it does, and the people of South Gloucestershire can be assured that the Conservative Group will be firmly on their side.
“In conjunction with residents, businesses and other organisations, the Conservative Group managed to achieve a great deal over the past four years, with massively improved attainment levels in schools, record recycling rates, action on climate change and ensuring the Council remained financially stable – all while keeping car parking free.
“We do not want to see these achievements squandered through the inevitable bickering, indecision and incompetence that will overtake the coalition over the course of the next four years.”
The Conservative Group will press the coalition to properly maintain the district’s roads and footpaths, to continue with the previous administration’ success in boosting attainment levels in local schools, to fix the public transport system broken by the Labour WECA Mayor and to support the district’s most vulnerable children and their families.
They will also be challenging the coalition to protect South Gloucestershire’s precious green belt, which is already in jeopardy following Keir Starmer’s well-publicised plans to make it easier to build on green spaces.