Labour slams door on cabinet positions

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LABOUR has rejected an offer of places on Doncaster Council’s cabinet.

The party took seven more seats at the elections this month and now holds two thirds of the seat on the council - 43 out of 63 seats.

But the group leader Coun Sandra Holland says the party will set up its own shadow cabinet to hold the mayor to account rather than meeting him around the cabinet table.

Labour refused the offer despite a Government report last year warning that long standing political conflict was being given priority over improvements to services.

Coun Holland said: “Labour cannot join a cabinet which would leave us having to take responsibility for decisions taken by a group of right wing, and very right wing, politicians with whom we completely disagree.

“Instead, Labour will provide a strong opposition to Peter Davies and his administration.

“The Labour group is committed to working constructively in the process to improve Doncaster Council and will continue to play an active role in helping the scrutiny committee.”

Mayor Peter Davies said he had been keen to have a broad based cabinet, including Labour.

He said: “Doncaster is currently operating well but, like all councils, we have some hard challenges ahead. I have been keen to create a broadly based cabinet and offered the Labour group two places immediately and possibly a third in due course.

“I think it is regrettable that the Labour group has turned down the offer, but we will form a strong cabinet from the rest of the council and continue to operate in an open way, in the best interest of Doncaster.”

Mr Davies has lost two members of his cabinet, with member for children’s services Andrea Milner having decided against continuing as a councillor, and member for housing, Patrick Wilson, being voted out of his seat at the election. It means he has only four members of his pre-election cabinet still available to him.