Over the last couple of weeks, new Liberal Democrat council leaders have been taking up their posts all across the country, with the number of Lib Dem majority councils now back to where it was before the 2010 coalition.
I’ve covered many of these on social media, but in particular it’s worth highlighting the two new unitary authorities of Westmorland & Furness and Somerset.The Conservative Party’s enthusiasm for large new unitary councils has always seemed to be fuelled in part by a political calculation – that larger councils, with larger wards and less frequent elections will benefit them compared to parties such as the Lib Dems. However, in both north west and south west England this May, that proved to be spectacularly wrong.
Jonathan Brook has been elected the new leader for Westmorland & Furness:
In Somerset it’s Bill Revans, who now heads up the largest Liberal Democrat group in the country:
Congratulations and good luck to both teams, and the many others around the country also now getting to grips with having more power to improve people’s lives. That, in the end, is the point of all those bar charts.