After two more Labour councillors resigned the whip before the full council meeting on Thursday (October 9), the Labour Party no longer has overall control of City of York Council.
Thirty-three years a councillor, Ken King quit the Labour group alongside former group leader David Scott.
This means that, even before next week’s by-election on Westfield Ward, Labour have lost their majority on York Council. They now have only 21 of the 47 councillors.
The Conservative group leader, Cllr Chris Steward, is calling for changes to the key council committees to reflect the new make-up.
He submitted a request to the Lord Mayor for a special full council meeting “which will address Labour’s over-representation on key committees like the Local Plan Working Group, Corporate and Scrutiny Management and the Planning Committees”.
Labour has used called proportionality rules to retain a majority on all committees and “then used this to steamroller through all of their policies”, Cllr Steward said.
“The people of York have had enough of this Labour administration and in particular the fact a small group of their councillors are dictating everything in this city,” he said.
“This change to committees will see a much fairer representation for opposition councillors – who are actually now the majority.”
A spokesperson for the Labour group said: “Of course the proportionalities of all committees need changing to reflect the new political makeup of the council.
“A council committee with all political group leaders represented was already scheduled for this purpose following the by-election. This was with the agreement of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat group leaders.”