News Politics

York City Council has no overall majority, what happens next?

York Liberal Democrats has become the largest party in York City Council, with 21 seats out of the 24 needed for a majority.

Soon they will have created a cabinet and taken over the running of the local authority for the next four years.

There are a few ways that this can happen.


Firstly, The Liberal Democrats could form a coalition with a smaller party. The Green Party has retained its four seats in York and would be the most obvious choice.

This is how City of York Council has been run for the past four years, with a coalition between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.

However, this may not be an option.

John Cossham

We spoke with John Cossham, who stood as a Green Party candidate on Hull Road Ward. He said that, as a local party, the Greens prefer to vote on a policy by policy basis.

Mr Cossham stressed the importance of the environment and the role York must play in combatting climate change are high on the list of priorities for party members in York: “We would not put ourselves into an agreement where we were forced to vote with a party at all times, but instead on a policy by policy basis. For example, if the Conservatives or another party were to have a good policy on house insulation, I would happily back that.”

John was particularly concerned with how national politics seemed to have seeped into the local elections this year. Saying that it saddened him that constituents might ask about national issues that he and other candidates could have no impact on.

No Coalition

The other option for The Liberal Democrats would be to get an agreement from the opposition not to block the election of a new leader.

For a unitary authority the option is there for a cabinet to politically lead the council without a complete majority or a direct coalition, so long as they can appoint a leader.

Either way, in the next few days, it is expected that York Liberal Democrat leader Keith Aspden will become leader of York City Council.

Yorkie reporter Georgie Reid breaks down the scenario:

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