New Northumberland Labour Leader and deputy announced
Northumberland County Council’s Labour group has elected Scott Dickinson as their new leader.
Following last night’s (Monday, May 17) vote, the Druridge Bay councillor said: “I would like to thank Northumberland councillors for their confidence in me to lead our group of Labour representatives.
“I remain convinced that the vast majority of people living in Northumberland want a decent home, a decent job, support when they need it and an education which equips them for the world in which we are now living. Residents in Northumberland deserve a thriving, cleaner and greener county to live in.”
Cllr Dickinson’s leadership bid comes after the previous Labour leader, Susan Dungworth, lost her ward in Hartley at the local elections on May 6.
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Overall, Labour lost one seat after making gains across the county following several Conservative wins in previously Labour-held wards.
Cllr Dickinson was one of only a few Labour councillors to increase his majority on election night from 796 in 2017 to 870 at the local elections earlier this month.
Leader Dickinson appointed Newbiggin Central and East councillor Liz Simpson as deputy leader.
Cllr Simpson following her appointment said: “Having been a member of the Labour Party for many years before being elected to represent Newbiggin, it’s a great honour for me to chosen to support Cllr Dickinson as his deputy.
“I know Scott will give a strong voice to all in our county. I will be supporting Scott to form an effective opposition which seeks consensus and agreement where possible, but quite properly holds the council leaders to account where their actions will have a negative effect on our county’s residents.”
Cllr Jeff Reid leader of the Liberal Democrats said: “Although it is a matter for the Labour Party, I congratulate Cllr Dickinson on becoming leader of the Labour group and hope he enjoys his new job.”
In response to Cllr Dickinson’s election, a Conservative Party spokesperson said: “Scott Dickinson was at the heart of a very negative election campaign fought by the Labour Party and for which they were punished by the voters.
“We certainly hope that there will be more consensus in the new council but Labour will be on probation with the voters and have a long way to go to regain their trust.”