Local Elections Leadership Changes 2019
From left: Cheshire West's Louise Gittens, Cheshire East's Sam Corcoran, Wirral's Pat Hackett and Manchester's Basil Curley

Changes at top following local elections

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

Following local election results earlier this month, councils across the region have confirmed various leadership changes and portfolio holders.

Cheshire East

Labour’s Cllr Sam Corcoran has been elected leader of Cheshire East Council, with Independent group leader Craig Browne appointed as his deputy.

The council had been led by the Conservatives since 2009, however in the local elections the Conservatives lost 19 councillors, putting the council into no overall control. Conservative leader Cllr Rachel Bailey stepped down following the result.

The Conservatives are still the larger party in Cheshire East, however Labour struck a deal with Independents in order to take charge of the council.

Corcoron kicked off his leadership with a motion changing the decision-making arrangement of the council.

After a change of cabinet, Cllr Toni Fox is now responsible for planning, and Cllr Nick Mannion is responsible for environment and regeneration.

Cheshire West & Chester

Cllr Louise Gittins is now leader of Cheshire West & Chester Council, taking over from Samantha Dixon as head of the Labour group.

Labour had a majority of just one seat prior to the elections on 2 May, but lost three seats, putting the council in no overall control. It remains the largest party in Cheshire West

The Conservative group also saw a leadership change, with Lynn Riley replaced by her deputy, Margaret Parker.


With Labour leader Cllr Phil Davies announcing his intention to step down long before the local elections, Wirral was always set for change at the top.

After Labour lost overall control, there was a close competition over whether it would be a Labour or Conservative leader of the council. In the end Independent councillors had the deciding votes, with Labour Cllr Pat Hackett elected as leader.


There were no major political shifts in the consistently Labour Manchester City Council, although most relevant to the property community, the outspoken planning committee member Cllr Basil Curley has been appointed chair of the planning and highways committee.


In Stockport, election night saw Labour and Liberal Democrats become the two largest, and equally sized, parties in the borough. The parties have made an agreement that Labour will lead the council, however the Liberal Democrats will take more of a role on various committees.

Labour Cllr Elise Wilson has taken over from leader Cllr Alex Ganotis.


Conservative Cllr David Greenhalgh took over as leader of Bolton Council, after the council went from Labour-led to no overall control in the elections. Labour are still a larger party than the Conservatives, however Greenhalgh was voted in after achieving backing from the Liberal Democrats, Ukip and hyper-local parties.


The drama in Liverpool on election night was less to do with the results, and more to do with the ruling Labour Group’s own internal politics. Cllr Ann O’Byrne tabled a motion to scrap the role of City Mayor, Labour leader Joe Anderson’s position. At Labour’s subsequent AGM, the motion was not voted on, although the group agreed to debate more on leadership models. In response, O’Byrne lost her position as deputy leader of Labour, now held by Cllr Wendy Simon.

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Liverpool – Ann O’Byrne dares to say what everyone else is thinking and loses her position….no surprises there

By Concerned

Didn’t she resign?https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/now-deputy-mayor-ann-obyrne-14677469
But events in the council are not very encouraging for Liverpool!

By Town Hall Tommy

Basil Curley is a truly fantastic name!

By Russell Bolton

Patrick Hackett has changed from my days at University of Liverpool.

By Bob Dawson

The Liverpool Occupied Territories. Our city’s economy is in collapse, the place looks the pits, crime is spiralling but, just like Venezuela, what happens to the people at large (as opposed to eyebrow raising election time £1m funds to “help people with austerity”…) is of little consequence. Never mind Labour party slogans, our city really is for the very few these days.

Will we ever be free of them?

By Mike

Nice to see some youth….

By The Old Faithful