Labour group picks new deputy leader

Ergin Erbil replaces Ian Barnes in the role, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

Ergin Erbil (credit Enfield Council)
Ergin Erbil (credit Enfield Council)

Ergin Erbil has been chosen by Labour councillors as the group’s new deputy leader.

Cllr Erbil, who represents Edmonton Green ward and has recently served as an associate cabinet member, is now set to replace Ian Barnes as Enfield Council’s deputy leader, after Barnes decided not to stand for re-election this month.

Labour won a fourth straight local election in Enfield on 5th May, with a majority of 13, continuing the party’s longest-ever spell in charge at Enfield Civic Centre. This was despite the Conservatives gaining eight seats, marking the first time since 2002 that Enfield Labour had lost ground in a local election.

Labour councillors met at the group’s annual general meeting (AGM) on Monday (16th) to select a new top team. As well as choosing Cllr Erbil as their new deputy, Nesil Caliskan won support to continue as leader and hailed Labour’s “incredibly ambitious agenda” for the borough. She also outlined an “exciting programme of initiatives”. 

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Cllr Caliskan, who first became council leader in 2018, said: “Enfield Council has achieved a huge amount over the last four years, despite massive challenges, including the pandemic and the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

“Our focus has been to invest in Enfield, create opportunities for residents and to protect the services that people rely on. The election showed residents trust Labour to keep fighting in their best interests.”

The Labour leader pledged to deliver a new waste and recycling centre, 50 more school streets, a council law enforcement team and continued progress on a plan to build 3,500 affordable homes by 2035.

Cllr Caliskan added: “Enfield Labour have an incredibly ambitious agenda, and we make no apologies for seeking and demanding the very best for the residents in our borough.”

Alev Cazimoglu, Rick Jewell, Gina Needs and George Savva have all been re-elected to cabinet positions. But there are also some new faces, with Abdul Abdullahi, Chinelo Anyanwu, Tim Leaver and Susan Erbil set to serve at the top table. Their portfolios will be confirmed next week when the full council meets at the authority’s AGM on Wednesday, 25th May.

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