In the wake of the 2023 City of York Council Local Election the Conservative Group has announced its new leader will be Cllr Chris Steward, the newly elected councillor for Copmanthorpe. Cllr Martin Rowley retained his seat in Osbaldwick and Derwent and will remain as the group’s Deputy Leader. The group is now three members, following the success of Mike Nicholls in Bishopthorpe.
Cllr Steward said "I would like to thank all those that voted Conservative in York in the Local Election. We realise it is not an easy national picture and in that context welcome the gaining of an additional seat in York but it is a great shame we could not make more progress as a number of brilliant local campaigners sadly missed out. On the doorsteps it was clear that our vision of a council focused on the frontline resonated with residents. The group will be vastly poorer for the loss of Paul Doughty who has done a superb job over the years whether at city level for the group or in his ward of Strensall where he has been such a passionate and successful advocate for his residents on everything from individual casework to larger scale transport and planning matters in the ward."
Cllr Steward continued "I congratulate Labour on their election success and we are glad to see the back of a discredited Liberal Democrat and Green coalition. We are clear that we want to see the roads improved, better run and more reliable bus services and more houses built in York but in a sustainable way which will protect the Greenbelt; as well as limiting rises in council tax. We will hold Labour to account and ensure they spend money wisely given some expensive looking pledges in their manifesto. However we will work positively with them wherever we can and in particular are keen to see the reversal of the Lib Dem / Green ban on blue badge holders in the city centre as soon as possible."