THE Green Party last night (Thursday, May 25) agreed to form an administration to run Forest of Dean District Council for the next four years, with Councillor Mark Topping (Lydney West and Aylburton) voted in as leader.

The local elections took place on May 4 and no political party gained an overall majority.

A total of 20 of the 38 seats are required to form a majority, and no one individual party reached this number.

Therefore, the Green Party has formed an administration with the support of councillors from other groups.

The new Council Leader is Councillor Mark Topping, who was first elected to the council in 2019.

There will be two Deputy Leaders of the Council, with Councillor Andy Moore and Councillor Jackie Fraser elected to these roles.

Additionally, a new chair for the Council was also voted in at the meeting.

Councillor Di Martin will Chair the Council over the next 12 months, with Councillor Simon Phelps elected as Vice Chair.

Further details as to a Deputy Leader, Cabinet Members and their portfolios will be announced in due course, the council says.

Cllr Topping said: “I am incredibly excited to be Leader at Forest of Dean District Council and to start work on forming a new Cabinet.

“We have ambitious plans for the district and will be starting work straight away with officers to set the priorities for this administration and deliver on behalf of all the residents, communities and businesses in the Forest.

“We have already agreed on the areas we will be focusing on, including our work to tackle the climate emergency, improving health and wellbeing, keeping our communities safe and clean, helping the local economy, tackling inequality and creating the right Local Plan for our communities.

“I am confident that together we will be able to achieve great things for the area we all love, while also providing the council services we all expect.”