As I said at the Council’s AGM, it’s a huge honour for me personally to be re-elected as a councillor for Sinfin and Osmaston for the fifth time, and very humbling to be elected as the Labour and Co-operative Leader of the Derby Council.

It’s a complicated political environment, with 23 Labour councillors and 28 councillors drawn from the ranks of the Conservatives, Lib Dems, Reform UK and Independents. Not everything went according to plan at the AGM. Shamefully, 4 Lib Dem councillors sat on their hands outside the Chamber, allowing the election of a Reform councillor as Mayor. Derby deserves better.

The new Cabinet which I appointed at the AGM is comprised entirely of Co-operative Party members, we intend to transform the City for the better. We launched a very exciting and ambitious manifesto at the beginning of the election campaign, a vision for Derby based on co-operative principles that I am determined we will deliver in full. In putting the manifesto together, we listened to local people and created our vision based on their priorities.

Central to that vision is developing a fair economy for our great City. Ultimately Government policy has the largest impact on the shape and size of the economy, and the current Government has done very little to support the co-operative sector. But councils can play a role in shaping economic growth too.

We want to see co-operative businesses being the future of the high street, filling empty retail units as alternative community-based spaces, which is why we will put in place a Community Wealth Building Strategy, a local community bank, and co-operative development agency. We will develop an online one-stop shop of resources, support and information to encourage and support new businesses, co-operatives and social enterprises to thrive.