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At last night's Annual General Meeting the Forest of Dean District Council voted in a new leader and administration. We are delighted to report that Councillor Mark Topping (Lydney West and Aylburton) was nominated for the leadership role and received 26 votes. There were no votes against, only 'passive abstentions', by the Conservative and Progressive Independents groups.

The Green Party members have now agreed to form a new administration to run the Council. Further details about Cabinet Members and their portfolios will be announced in due course. Two Deputy Council Leaders have been appointed; Councillor Andy Moore and Councillor Jackie Fraser. A new Chair and Vice Chair was also voted in at the meeting. Councillor Di Martin will chair the Council over the next 12 months, with Councillor Simon Phelps elected as Vice Chair.

Councillor Mark Topping said; “I am incredibly excited to form this new administration with my colleagues and to be Leader of the Forest of Dean District Council.

“We have ambitious plans for the district and will be starting work straight away with officers to set the priorities for this administration and deliver on behalf of all the residents, communities and businesses in the Forest.

“We have already agreed on the areas we will be focussing on, including our work to tackle the climate emergency, improving health and wellbeing, keeping our communities safe and clean, helping the local economy, tackling inequality and creating the right Local Plan for our communities.

“I am confident that together we will be able to achieve great things for the area we all love, while also providing the council services we all expect.”

The local elections took place on 4th May 2023 and no political party gained an overall majority. A total of 20 of the 38 seats are required to form a majority and no one individual party reached this number.

The split of councillors by party following the election was:

Green 15

Independent/Undefined 11

Labour 5

Conservative 4

Liberal Democrat 3

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