Councillor Caroline Topping is the new Leader of East Suffolk Council, heading an administration formed of Green, Liberal Democrat and Independent members of the authority.
Cllr Topping, a ward member for Beccles and Worlingham, becomes East Suffolk’s second ever leader, following Steve Gallant, who led a Conservative administration from 2019, before standing down at the recent election.
The new administration (GLI Group) is formed of 28 councillors – 16 Greens, 11 Liberal Democrats and one Independent. The Conservatives have 15 seats, and Labour 12.
Details of the new administration were confirmed on Wednesday evening at a meeting of East Suffolk’s full council, which also saw the election of a new chair and vice-chair. Appointments were made to a variety of committees, plus confirmation of the leader’s new cabinet, which sees Liberal Democrat Group Lead, Councillor David Beavan, become East Suffolk’s deputy leader.
Cllr Topping said: “I am absolutely delighted that residents in our communities voted in such huge numbers for Green candidates, and our progressive agenda which focuses so keenly not just on our local environment but also the planet’s continued sustainability. We have more than trebled our number, which speaks volumes for the concerns and interests of local people.
“We have built a fantastic working relationship with our Liberal Democratic and Independent colleagues over the last four years, building on our shared values. We could not be more aware that our communities have put their trust in us, and we must do our best to deliver what they would like us to achieve.
“However, we are also fully aware that this council comprises 55 members of five colours and we will work constructively across all parties, with our residents, businesses, visitors and everyone who cares about East Suffolk in mind.”
Tonight’s council meeting saw Green councillor Anthony Speca elected as Chair of the council, while Independent councillor John Fisher will be the new vice-Chair.
East Suffolk’s new Cabinet is as follows:
Leader - Caroline Topping
Deputy Leader and (Cabinet Member for) Housing - David Beavan
Energy and Climate Change - Tom Daly
Economic Development & Transport - Toby Hammond
Communities, Leisure & Tourism - Katie Graham
Community Health - Mike Ninnmey
Corporate Services - Digital, Customer Services, HR and Assets - Paul Ashton
Planning & Coastal Management - Kay Yule
Resources & Value For Money - Vince Langdon-Morris
Environment - Rachel Smith-Lyte