Lewis Herbert steps down as Cambridge City Council leader

Cllr Lewis Herbert

Cllr Lewis Herbert - Credit: Archant

Cambridge City Council leader Lewis Herbert is stepping down. 

He tendered his resignation after seven years at the helm. 

Cllr Herbert has been at the heart of the devolution deal for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Four candidates have put their names forward as a possible successor and local hustings begin next week.  

“He has only been the only possible leader and done a lot of good things,” said one colleague.  

Cllr Herbert is expected to remain a city councillor – for now – although some colleagues expect he will move to North Wales where he has a home.  

He has been at the helm of major decisions at the council including helping to secure £70m for an affordable housing programme for Cambridge as part of the 2016 devolution deal.  

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Labour Party members across the city will get a chance to question prospective leadership candidates but only the elected Labour members of the council will take the final vote.  

Earlier this year Cllr Herbert stood down from the executive board of the Greater Cambridge Partnership. 

He said at the time he was going to focus on other issues such as homelessness, climate change and the pandemic recovery in Cambridge.  

Not all present and past colleagues have been supportive of his style of leadership. 

One told me tonight: “The trouble with Lewis is that he can’t stand conflict. His greatest weakness as far as I am concerned is how he handles people. Not always very well.” 

In his election manifesto this year Cllr Herbert said he had proud of what had been achieved by the council “despite the Government cutting and cutting local funding”. 

Cllr Herbert says he has been a Labour supporter since he was 11.   

“I knew I was Labour when I was talking about it in the school playground,” he says. 

“And I have been a Labour and community activist for approaching four decades since the double General Elections which Labour won in 1974 – a fair while ago.  

In the 1980s he served as a Greater London councillor for six years.