Labour Group abstains as South Ribble Council votes in new mayors

South Ribble Labour leader Coun Paul Foster
South Ribble Labour leader Coun Paul Foster

Labour councillors have abstained on the vote to decide South Ribble's mayors for the next two years.

The decision to nominate the next two mayor's of South Ribble was approved at Wednesday's (March 21) full council meeting.

But the vote on the nominations saw the borough's Labour Group abstain, with Group Leader Coun Paul Foster stating that the ceremonial role has now become "politicised", stating that it will mean 12 of the last 13 mayors in South Ribble will have been Conservative councillors - the other one being the incumbent Mayor, Coun Mick Titherington.

SEE MORE: End of the road for single use plastics after South Ribble Council vote

"Many members of the Labour Group feel very upset about this," Coun Foster explained.

South Ribble Council is currently delicately balanced, with the ruling Conservative Group having a slim majority of two seats when all members are present. On issues that are tied, the Mayor has the casting vote on the overall decision.

The mayoral nominations were passed with 23 councillors voting in favour of the nominations and four against; 16 councillors abstained.

It will see current Deputy Mayor, Coun John Rainsbury (Conservative), take over from incumbent Mayor Coun Titherington (Labour) later this year on May 15.

Coun Carol Chisholm (Conservative) will take up the role of Deputy Mayor at the same time with the intention of succeeding Coun Rainsbury in May 2019 - as is common practice in the borough.

Coun Chisholm's official appointment as Mayor would still be the subject of council approval in 2019.