The first full council meeting will take place this Thursday.
This is a meeting to vote a leader and for committee chairs. The leader will then choose their cabinet. As leader of the largest group I expect Labour's Alec Brown to gain enough votes to be council leader. Labour have 23 seats while the 13 independents are divided in two groups but I anticipate a few would vote for the Labour leader.
The local Conservatives are a mess, mired by allegations made against the Teesside Mayor in parliament, it's unlikely they have a plan for Thursday.
As Jacob Young is on a Teesworks/Freeport board, and two of the conservative councillors work for him, I'll be distancing myself from any collaboration or work with the Conservatives until a full audit has been performed. This is a sad state of affairs as not all the local conservatives will be implicated, but I do not tolerate financial irregularities and should the situation arise I would want to scrutinise the financial reports and papers to ensure taxpayers'cash is spent appropriately.
The Conservatives also have money on tap from big business but no solid proposals for any of the problems we face. Mainly because they have taken money from the superrich so can't represent working people. They have a huge conflict of interest in that respect. I think some of their new councillors will have a tough time justifying party lines to their neighbours.
Labour I don't support either, recently it has emerged that private healthcare have been sponsoring some of the prominent MPs. Locally the horrible battle between red and blue leaves me scratching my head why people didn't vote for other candidates. It was appalling the way some candidates conducted themselves in the lcola elections.
We didn't put out one negative leaflet as LDs and concentrated on what we can deliver rather than attacking others.
The Lib Dems are only 11 in total after losing seats. Everywhere else in England the LDs made gains. However, some new faces have given the group a bit of energy and I'm confident we'll start making significant gains once the council meetings start and we make changes to areas such as planning.
We need new people with new ideas who are willing to help us and stand in elections. We don't have big financial backers, the leaflets are paid for by local members. So if you read this and want to help out please contact me.
Back to the council: I'm attempting to become chair of planning, or chair of the regulatory committee as it's now called. This is going to be a battle. We have a group of 11 and I need 30 to win, so other parties will need to vote for me. I don't know how likely this is, but I'll give it go.
We need to make big changes to planning. We can't go on with an S.106 scheme that doesn't compensate communities for the pressure they face from huge developments. We can't go on being economically poor in areas such as leisure and infrastructure and take more housing. We can't go on building four bed detached houses on green spaces when we need bungalows in towns. Marske represents the middle of England in terms of economy but we are being plundered from all angles. Meanwhile the borough is being exploited by developers and we are not meeting climate promises or delivering a better deal. Hopefully 30 councillors will recognise that the incumbent Saltburn independent councillor, who is currently chair of planning ,needs to either step aside or to be defeated in a vote on Thursday.