New faces to take their place in council chamber - The Worcester Observer

New faces to take their place in council chamber

Rob George 3rd May, 2019 Updated: 3rd May, 2019   0

A HOST of new faces will make up the new Worcester City Council when it meets for the first time later this month with all three parties at the Guildhall welcoming new members.

Labour’s Coun Jenny Barnes successfully defended the Arboretum seat held by George Squires with a majority of 225 and will form another all-woman ward on the city council alongside Coun Joy Squires.

The Green Party have welcomed Majory Bisset while former Mayor of Worcester Coun Steve Mackay has made a return to Guildhall politics after retaining St Peter’s Parish for the Conservatives in a seat vacated by long-serving councillor Roger Knight.

Coun Mackay served Battenhall residents for four years until he was beaten at last year’s city council elections by the then Green Party councillor Louise Griffiths who has now crossed the floor to join the Tories.

Coun Nida Hassan retained the Warndon Parish North seat vacated by Alan Feeney for the Tories and while her majority is down from the 907 recorded in the ward in the 2015 poll her victory means the number of women in the Conservative Party has trebled from one to three.

She will join Coun Griffiths and Coun Lucy Hodgson on the Conservative side of the Guildhall and speaking to the Observer, Tory leader Coun Marc Bayliss praised his new councillor, the first Asian woman to take her place in the chamber.

“She is a brilliant new addition to the council, she is a future leader and a serious colleague and adds to the diversity of our group and I am looking forward to working with her,” he said.

The new councillor for Warndon Parish North narrowly failed to win election last year when she was defeated by current Mayor of Worcester Coun Jabba Riaz by 292 votes.

Former Liberal Democrat Ken Carpenter failed to secure enough votes to win the Cathedral seat while former Conservative councillor will also not return to the Guildhall after finishing second in Nunnery behind Labour’s Simon Cronin.

The new make-up of the council means 12 of the 35 seats will be taken by women, up three from last year.

Councillors will meet for the first time at the annual meeting on Tuesday, May 14 where a new Mayor of Worcester will be elected.

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