A NEW council leader says the authority will be there for those most in need after winning a narrow vote.

Cllr James MacCleary will take the reins at Lewes District Council as part of the Co-operative Alliance group.

The Liberal Democrat secured 21 votes from nine party colleagues along with eight votes from the Green Party, three from Labour, and from independent councillors to shut out the Conservatives hopeful Isabelle Linington who could only secure 19 votes.

Cllr MacCleary takes over from Zoe Nicholson who led the council for a year as part of the Co-operative Alliance grouping.

The Argus:

James MacCleary has taken over from Zoe Nicholson

He said: “There is great uncertainty about what the coming months will bring, but I can assure every resident that this council is here for those most in need.

“The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been massive, but the way this council responded, and continues to respond, has filled me with great pride.

“We must all hope that the government fulfil their promise to meet the costs and loss of income that every council, including our own, have suffered.

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“There is no doubt that we have taken huge strides in just year, whether that is our work to address the climate emergency or build much needed new homes.

"These objectives are in the DNA of the Co-operative Alliance and I know that we will continue to turn words into action right across the Lewes district.”