All change in power shift at Stockport Council
Labour Cllr Elise Wilson has been ousted as leader of Stockport Council after the Lib Dems took control of the authority for the first time since 2016.
She lost out in a vote with Lib Dem, Cllr Mark Hunter, who triumphed by 31 votes to 25, after the local elections a fortnight ago failed to deliver a clear leader. Seven councillors, the Tories and Greens, abstained.
The elections meant the 63-seat council now comprises 28 Liberal Democrat seats, three ahead of Labour, followed by the Conservatives with five councillors. There are three Heald Green Independent Ratepayers councillors, and two Greens councillors.
Cllr Hunter said it was a “humbling experience” and “an honour” to serve as council leader.
He said he would try to run the council “by consensus”, adding his door would “always be open to new ideas” and he would be “unstinting” in doing his best for Stockport residents.
Referencing the problems facing Stockport, including the cost of living crisis and recovery from the pandemic, he added: “I don’t underestimate the challenge – the circumstances out there are very very challenging.”
Cllr Wilson said it had been her “absolute honour” to serve the people of Stockport, and she was “incredibly proud” of what the Labour group had achieved during the most challenging of circumstances.
She added: “I wish Cllr Hunter well in leading the council until the all-out elections next year.”
Stockport-born Cllr Wilson is also Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s portfolio lead for economy and business.
She was elected as a Labour councillor in the Davenport and Cale Green Ward in 2014. Prior to becoming leader of the council in May 2019, she served as cabinet member with responsibility for reform and governance.