York council leader resigns after suffering stroke; next leader revealed

Cllr Chris Steward at a meeting of the council executive in February. Photograph: City of York Council / YouTube
11 May 2016 @ 9.22 pm
| News, Politics

York council leader Chris Steward has resigned after suffering a stroke.

Cllr Steward, 36, who was council leader for a year following the elections in May 2015, has stepped down as he concentrates on his recovery.

On Wednesday evening (May 11) the York Conservative group elected a new leader: Cllr David Carr. Subject to approval at the city’s annual council meeting on May 26, Cllr Carr will become the next leader of the council.

Cllr Carr said: “The group’s thoughts first and foremost are with Chris Steward and his family.

“Chris has done a superb job as leader steering both our group and, for the past year, our new coalition administration.

“We look forward to welcoming Chris back to active service as soon as his health allows.”

Challenges ahead

Cllr David Carr. Photograph: City of York Council
Cllr David Carr. Photograph: City of York Council

Cllr Carr, who represents Copmanthorpe ward and is the executive member for housing and safer neighbourhoods, was unanimously elected as leader at the extraordinary meeting of the Conservative Group.

He has pledged to continue working in coalition with the Liberal Democrats.

Cllr Carr said:

I consider it an honour to have the opportunity to lead the Conservative Group and I would like to thank my colleagues for their vote of confidence.

I certainly don’t underestimate the challenges we face as a council one year into our joint administration with the Liberal Democrats.

I’m also aware of the challenges presented to me personally by this new role. However, I am confident that I have both the ability and energy to take on the Leadership and I very much look forward to the challenge.

The local elections on May 8, 2015, left Labour with 15 seats, the Conservatives with 14, the Lib Dems with 12 and the Green Party with four.