'The hard work starts now': Labour group on West Northamptonshire Council elects new leader

The former Mayor hopes to use the leadership to 'get our towns the investment they need' and to hold the new Conservative administration to account

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 5:56 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 6:00 pm

The Labour Group on West Northamptonshire Council has elected a new leader.

Councillor Gareth Eales was elected at the group's annual general meeting on Friday (May 14) as part of a new leadership team.

Cllr Emma Roberts was elected as the deputy leader, Cllr Wendy Randall as chairperson of the group and Cllr Paul Joyce will be the chief whip.

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Cllr Gareth Eales. Photo: Kirsty Edmonds.

The group won 17 seats of the 93 available on the new authority at the recent local elections with the Labour and Co-operative Party winning three seats.

Cllr Eales was elected onto Northampton Borough Council in 2011 and served as Mayor of Northampton in 2017.

In a statement on the group's website, he said: “I am very excited to lead the Labour Group into this chapter in our local government.

"Labour was opposed to this particular reconfiguration in our council structures, but it's here now and we have to deal with that reality.

"It is incumbent upon us as an opposition to ensure that all residents in West Northants get decent public services, that our towns get the investment they need and that we hold this new Conservative administration to account.

"The hard work starts now and I feel very privileged to be assisted by Cllr Emma Roberts.”

Cllr Roberts added: "I am delighted to have been elected as deputy leader by the group and have been overwhelmed by the messages of support."