New Progressive Group on Exeter City Council will challenge ‘One Party State’

10 May 2019

A new ‘progressive group’ on Exeter City Council, made up of Green, Liberal Democrat and Independent councillors, has been established to challenge the ‘one party state’ in the city.

Following success in the local elections, which saw smaller Parties and independents take seats from both the Conservatives and Labour in Exeter – and across the country – the new group have decided that formalising practical working arrangements will enable them to collaborate more effectively and discuss matters of mutual interest. However, the group falls short of being a political alliance; and councillors will vote independently in the interests of their wards.

Cllr Kevin Mitchell, who has been a Liberal Democrat councillor in the city for 16 years, has been selected as leader of the new Progressive group. He said:

“The residents of Exeter are totally fed up of the tribal politics which has existed within the City and they have been calling out for us to work together."

Cllr Diana Moore, who achieved a landslide victory in St David’s ward beating Labour to become the city’s first elected Green Party Councillor has been selected as Deputy Leader of the group. She said:

“Exeter has become a one-party state. The city badly needs better collaboration between Councillors, and its time to form an effective opposition to hold Labour to account.

Cllr Jemima Moore, who became the Independent councillor for Newtown and St. Leonard’s following her campaign to preserve the cities green spaces, said:

“Working collaboratively will strengthen our position and effectiveness within the council. We will meet regularly and where we share priorities the Group can work together to promote these.”

Cllr Michael Mitchell, newly elected Liberal Democrat Councillor for Duryard and St James said:

“I think the people of Exeter will be delighted that Councillors from different backgrounds are working together to hold to account the Labour administration. I hope this new group will encourage real debate and citizen involvement about the future of the City.

Notes 

Arrangements regarding the formation of the Progressive Group on Exeter City Council

Following a meeting held at Exeter Civic Centre on the 7th May 2019 the following Councillors: 

Cllr Diana Moore (Green Party)

Cllr Jemima Moore (Independent)

Cllr Kevin Mitchell (Liberal Democrat)

Cllr Michael Mitchell (Liberal Democrat)

Agreed to collaborate through practical working arrangements and on issues of shared concern relating to the activities of Exeter City Council.

They agreed for the electoral cycle 2019/20 to jointly form a 'group' under the terms laid out in the Exeter city council constitution and for the group to be known as the ‘progressive group’.

 in order to meet the requirements of the Exeter constitution it was agreed that Cllr Kevin Mitchell act as the group leader for the forthcoming year and takes up the groups seat on the city council executive and that Cllr Diana Moore act as the deputy leader for the forthcoming year.

The group agreed that there was no requirement to appoint a whip, so members may vote in the interests of their wards.

The Cllrs agreed to meet regularly, support each other in our council activities and discuss matters of mutual interest. Where priorities align the members of the group would also collaborate to promote these.

Each member of the group agrees that when they issue material to the media connected to their council activities, they would also inform other members of the group.

The group may also agree to issue statements to the media as a group, but would not speak on behalf of the group without prior agreement.

Whilst being members of the progressive group it is also recognised that its members are from different political parties or none and that membership of the group is not intended to create a political alliance nor prevent or restrict individual members of the group carrying out their ward duties or undertaking any form of campaigning. The group is aiming to enable opposition Councillors of the city centre wards to collaborate in the interests of their wards.