The Green and Liberal Democrat group of councillors at Mid Suffolk have chosen a new leader following the decision of Rachel Eburne to step back from the role while continuing as a councillor.
Andy Mellen, who represents the Bacton ward, will with immediate effect take on the leadership of 12 Greens and 5 Liberal Democrats who since 2019 have formed half the Council, with Conservatives only holding control through the casting vote of the Chair.
Councillor Mellen said:
“I am very grateful to my councillor colleagues for choosing me as their new leader. I would like to pay tribute to Councillor Rachel Eburne who has led the group to great success over the past four years, including the stunning result of getting twelve Councillors elected on to Mid-Suffolk District Council in May 2019. Her energy, enthusiasm, and attention to detail in leading our opposition group provide an amazing example for the future.
As our country carefully emerges from the Covid pandemic, we still face the looming challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and the need to build a sound future for everyone in Mid-Suffolk and beyond. Greens don’t claim to have all the answers to these massive problems, but we can help set the direction towards a vibrant, sustainable and successful society in the future. As the Green and Liberal Democrat group represent half of Mid-Suffolk District Council, under my leadership we will continue to provide constructive challenge to the Conservative administration.”
Long-serving Liberal Democrat Councillor John Field will continue as deputy leader, and welcomed Councillor Mellen’s election:
“I fully endorse Andy Mellen’s comments, particularly his tribute to Councillor Rachel Eburne. Liberal Democrats and Greens are working well together across much of the county, and in Mid Suffolk we look forward to working with Andy Mellen. We would like to work on a wider basis and It is disappointing and hard to understand why the Conservatives are unwilling to work collaboratively with our half of the Council but without losing our distinct priorities. Meanwhile we will continue in partnership probing their plans in a constructive way and holding their administration to account.”