July 18, 2022 8.00 pm

Council’s Labour group so small it’s no longer considered a party

Two councillors have left it recently

By Local Democracy Reporter

South Kesteven’s Labour Party is down to just one member on the council – and will no longer be formally recognised as a political group.

Councillor Lee Steptoe is the only remaining elected councillor following the departure of Councillor Louise Clack.

A group needs to have at least two members to be recognised.

The change means the committee seats previously allocated to Labour will be given to the Conservative group.

Councillor Clack informed South Kesteven District Council on June 2 that she no longer wished to be affiliated with the district’s Labour group, and wished to be considered an unaligned Labour & Co-operative councillor.

She hasn’t provided a public reason for her move, and couldn’t be reached for comment.

The new composition of South Kesteven District Council is 39 Conservatives, 13 Independents (including two Liberal Democrats), and four unaligned.

Unaligned members are not counted in seat calculations, meaning Conservatives will pick up two more seats, increasing their control of committees.

Councillors Louise Clack (left) and Charmaine Morgan (right) have both recently left South Kesteven’s Labour group

They will have 10 seats on the planning committee, to three Independents.

The additional seat will give them seven on the Finance, Economic Development and Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee, with Independents holding the remaining two.

Councillor Charmaine Morgan also recently tended her resignation from the South Kesteven Labour group.

She stepped down in April, saying her values were “increasingly non-compatible with those of the national Party and current party leadership to the point where my position representing the Labour Party is no longer tenable.”

She continues to represent the St Vincent ward as an Unaligned Independent councillor.

The rebalancing will take place at the full council meeting on Monday, July 25.

Councillor Steptoe also couldn’t be reached for comment on the fate of the Labour group.