THE new coalition which will lead Oxfordshire was officially sworn in yesterday.

The Liberal Democrats, Greens and Labour Party will lead the council together in a coalition called the ‘Oxfordshire Fair Deal Alliance’.

The new leader of the council will be Liz Leffman, Lib Dem councillor for Charlbury and Wychwood. Mrs Leffman will be the first Lib Dem to fill the role of leader of the council in its history.

Accepting the role on Tuesday, she said the three parties which would lead the council shared ‘the same objectives in mind.’

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The new council leader, who previously challenged David Cameron as a parliamentary candidate for Witney, added: “When we looked at our manifestos, we realised there is far more that binds us than separates us.”

Similar promises in each of the three parties manifestos include commitments to tackle climate change, look at providing social care through the council instead of private companies, and investing in public transport and active travel like cycling.

Joining her in the cabinet will be a nine-person team of senior councillors including her new deputy, Liz Brighouse, the leader of the Labour group, who will also be responsible for education, children’s services and youth services.

As she nominated the new leader of the council at its first in-person meeting since early 2020, Ms Brighouse said: “I think Liz’s election to the leadership of this county council will actually give a signal to the people of Oxfordshire that things need to change.”

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Joining the two Liz’s are a cabinet made up of councillors from across the three coalition parties.

They include: Glynis Phillips (Labour), cabinet member for corporate services; Neil Fawcett (Lib Dem), cabinet member for community services and safety; Pete Sudbury (Green), cabinet member for climate change delivery and environment; Duncan Enright (Labour), cabinet member for travel and development strategy; Tim Bearder (Lib Dem), cabinet member for highways maintenance; Calum Miller (Lib Dem), cabinet member for finance; Jenny Hannaby (Lib Dem), cabinet member for adult social services and care and Damian Haywood (Labour), cabinet member for public health and equality.

The Conservatives will now act as the opposition group for the first time in the history of the council, led by Eddie Reeves, the councillor for Banbury Calthorpe.

The Tories had proposed a coalition with Labour to lead the county council, but this was turned down.

Conservative councillor Arash Fatemian wished the new administration well, saying: “I would have enjoyed working with the Labour Party on some of their ideas, but the nature of politics, the nature of democracy, is that sometimes the other side win.”

County council scrutiny committee members were also appointed during the meeting.

Oxfordshire County Council is an ‘upper tier’ authority, which looks after roads, social care, libraries and strategic issues in the area.