White roses and political history in Huntingdonshire

The Independent Group outside Pathfinder House on May 18.

The Independent Group outside Pathfinder House on May 18. - Credit: HUNTS POST

The Independent Group on Huntingdonshire District Council arrived at Pathfinder House in style tonight.

The newly-elected Independent group were sporting white roses in their lapels and button holes and posed for a photograph outside before they entered the chamber to cement their history-making election win on May 5.

They walked into a packed council chamber to join Labour, Lib Dem and Green Party colleagues to form a joint administration after 46 years of Conservative rule in Huntingdonshire.

Lib Dem Sarah Conboy was elected as the new executive leader of the council and her deputy was named as Tom Sanderson. Assistant executive leader is Sam Wakeford.

Cllr Conboy said the key priorities were: 
● Enhancing employment opportunities and supporting businesses
● Supporting the needs of residents
● Improving the housing situation
● Strengthening our communities
● Tackling climate change and caring for the environment
HDC's first-ever Green Party councillor, Lara Davenport-Ray joins the cabinet to lead on Climate and Environment. 

“This is an historic agreement between our four groups and this Joint Administration represents a significant change in direction for Huntingdonshire, as voted for by residents," said Cllr Conboy in a statement issued after the meeting.

"This year’s elections demonstrated that Huntingdonshire was ready for a change, and we look forward to working together to bring that about. The task ahead of us will be challenging because of the financial pressures we are inheriting but we are committed to delivering our priorities in spite of this. Together we will make a greener, fairer Huntingdonshire.”

“Huntingdonshire voted for a large number of independent councillors who clearly spoke to residents’ desire for hardworking representatives with no political affiliation."

Cllr Tom Sanderson, deputy executive leader, said: 
“The past two years have been hugely challenging as residents and businesses faced the effects of the pandemic. During the coming months, as they try to recover, the cost of living crisis is
getting worse.

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"More action is needed in Westminster to address this properly, but our council’s role serving the needs of residents is more important than ever.

"We are pleased to be part of a new administration with a renewed focus on this, putting our shared priorities at the heart of its
work. Ensuring everyone’s basic needs are met is the baseline we are building from to support our communities and make Huntingdonshire a great place to live and work for all.”