Former headteacher becomes first Green Party leader of Lancaster City Council
Lancaster City Council has voted in its first ever Green Party leader - bringing to an end two years of a Labour led administration.
Former Hornby High School headteacher Caroline Jackson - who has been in charge of housing on Lancaster City Council s cabinet and represents Bulk Ward, has been elected as leader.
She was supported by 12 Conservative councillors, 10 Greens, three Eco-Socialists, and nine Morecambe Bay Independent councillors, a total of 34 votes.
Coun Jackson successfully challenged Labour leader Coun Dr Erica Lewis, who received 22 votes - 13 Labour, two Lib Dems, six from the Independent group, and one Eco-Socialist Independent.
The vote was cast at a full council meeting on May 17.
Council leaders are elected every two years by their councillor colleagues.
Coun Lewis claimed there had been "collusion" between The Green Party and the Conservatives.
She said: "Last night I lost the election for Leader of Lancaster City Council.
"Thank you to everyone who has supported me and worked with me for the good of our district.
"Our work is not done and much is at risk from the Green/Conservative collusion."
A statement from the Lancaster District Green Party reads: "We are delighted that Caroline Jackson has tonight become leader of Lancaster City Council with the support of four of seven of the groups on Council.
"Kevin Frea, of the Eco Socialist Group becomes deputy leader.
"While we are looking forward to working with councillors across the political spectrum for the residents of our district we would like to make it clear that we are not in an alliance with the Conservative Party, as has been alleged this evening.
"We will be working with all groups on council and releasing information about the new cabinet in the next few days."