Meet the man pulling the strings in Worcester Green Party behind the city's power battle

Louis Stephen: playing a key role in the city council talks

Louis Stephen: playing a key role in the city council talks

First published in News
Last updated
Worcester News: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

THE man pulling the purse strings of power in Worcester can today be revealed - and he wasn't even elected by the public.

Your Worcester News can reveal how Louis Stephen, the chairman of the local Green Party branch, is taking on a huge role in ultimately shaping the future leadership of Worcester City Council.

This so-called 'wish list' of Green demands were put together with heavy input from Mr Stephen, and yesterday he even took temporary ownership of the document to alter with the wording so it matches his ideals ahead of last night's negotiations between councillors.

The list was also put together with Cllr Neil Laurenson, the city's lone Green, and members of the party in the city.

Mr Stephen is 47 and lives in Bath Road, in a house which also doubles up as the Green Party's Worcester base, and he is playing an increasingly important role in the negotiations.

Yet despite his influence he has never been an elected member of the city council, and stood in the Battenhall ward last Thursday, finishing a narrow second to the Tories by 112 votes.

After months of ferocious campaigning Mr Stephen managed to get 751 votes, compared to the 155 the Greens secured in the same ward in 2012, the previous time it was contested.

More than 22,500 votes were cast across Worcester in the local elections last week but only 2,441 went to the Greens, around 10 per cent of the total tally, despite the party and its chairman now playing a 'Kingmaker' role.

Mr Stephen, who works in the engineering section of a major international company, also says he wants to stand again and has close connections with the party's national leadership.

The left-winger said: "We believe in resisting cuts and outsourcing and instead growing excellent customer services."

On his own party profile he admits he "rejoiced" at Labour's general election victory in 1997, before becoming upset with "spin, sleaze" and war.

He also talks about life growing up in Margaret Thatcher's Britain, citing the riots and miners' strike as his abiding memories.

Cllr Laurenson, meanwhile, insists he has also been at the heart of the negotiations, working in tandem.

Comments (16)

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12:20pm Wed 28 May 14

Hwicce says...

And this is exactly what is wrong with politics in this country and why most people don't bother to vote.

The policy is being decided by people who haven't got the guts to stand themselves and hide behind minority candidates who happen to be lucky enough to be in a position of influence massively disproportionate to their actual votes.

A plague on all your houses - Romeo And Juliet (3.1)
And this is exactly what is wrong with politics in this country and why most people don't bother to vote. The policy is being decided by people who haven't got the guts to stand themselves and hide behind minority candidates who happen to be lucky enough to be in a position of influence massively disproportionate to their actual votes. A plague on all your houses - Romeo And Juliet (3.1) Hwicce
  • Score: 6

12:37pm Wed 28 May 14

skychip says...

Would be good if all parties could work together for the benefit of the residents of Worcester.
Would be good if all parties could work together for the benefit of the residents of Worcester. skychip
  • Score: 22

1:39pm Wed 28 May 14

mack18 says...

Voting is over, the residents don`t count until the next elections are imminent!
Voting is over, the residents don`t count until the next elections are imminent! mack18
  • Score: 10

2:43pm Wed 28 May 14

Shropshirelad says...

Have this in mind at the next time the Greens put themselves forward, it is not our Council Laurenson speaking for himself on Council issues - it is those in the background who are calling the tune. What a disreputable lot but I say again and again, if you wish to know what a Green Council is like, Google the Brighton lot and some of their local papers. Send the Greens in Worcester, back to where they came from.
Have this in mind at the next time the Greens put themselves forward, it is not our Council Laurenson speaking for himself on Council issues - it is those in the background who are calling the tune. What a disreputable lot but I say again and again, if you wish to know what a Green Council is like, Google the Brighton lot and some of their local papers. Send the Greens in Worcester, back to where they came from. Shropshirelad
  • Score: 6

4:28pm Wed 28 May 14

Nortynorse says...

Well said Shropshirelad, who in their right mind vote for the Greens, they have no creditable mandate and a vote for them is a vote lost.

By the time Global Warming takes hold , I will be pushing up the daisies!!!
Well said Shropshirelad, who in their right mind vote for the Greens, they have no creditable mandate and a vote for them is a vote lost. By the time Global Warming takes hold , I will be pushing up the daisies!!! Nortynorse
  • Score: 1

4:53pm Wed 28 May 14

PeterNielsen says...

Hwicce wrote:
And this is exactly what is wrong with politics in this country and why most people don't bother to vote.

The policy is being decided by people who haven't got the guts to stand themselves and hide behind minority candidates who happen to be lucky enough to be in a position of influence massively disproportionate to their actual votes.

A plague on all your houses - Romeo And Juliet (3.1)
Hwicce says that Green Party people "haven't the guts to stand". The Green Party has put up candidates in every ward in the City for years. Louis Stephen, who is the subject of the article, stood in Battenhall and came close to taking the seat. It says so in the article!!! The only reason Neil Laurenson has any 'power' is that the two parties (Labour and Tory) who hold all the seats between them except two want power for their own party rather than share it.
Neil Laurenson has not asked to be a 'tail wagging the dog'. But if Labour and Tory councillors cannot agree to share power, which seems the desire of the electorate judging by the results, who can blame him for taking advantage on behalf of the people who voted for him? Isn't that what elected councillors should do? Look after their constituents?
[quote][p][bold]Hwicce[/bold] wrote: And this is exactly what is wrong with politics in this country and why most people don't bother to vote. The policy is being decided by people who haven't got the guts to stand themselves and hide behind minority candidates who happen to be lucky enough to be in a position of influence massively disproportionate to their actual votes. A plague on all your houses - Romeo And Juliet (3.1)[/p][/quote]Hwicce says that Green Party people "haven't the guts to stand". The Green Party has put up candidates in every ward in the City for years. Louis Stephen, who is the subject of the article, stood in Battenhall and came close to taking the seat. It says so in the article!!! The only reason Neil Laurenson has any 'power' is that the two parties (Labour and Tory) who hold all the seats between them except two want power for their own party rather than share it. Neil Laurenson has not asked to be a 'tail wagging the dog'. But if Labour and Tory councillors cannot agree to share power, which seems the desire of the electorate judging by the results, who can blame him for taking advantage on behalf of the people who voted for him? Isn't that what elected councillors should do? Look after their constituents? PeterNielsen
  • Score: 6

4:56pm Wed 28 May 14

PeterNielsen says...

Shropshirelad wrote:
Have this in mind at the next time the Greens put themselves forward, it is not our Council Laurenson speaking for himself on Council issues - it is those in the background who are calling the tune. What a disreputable lot but I say again and again, if you wish to know what a Green Council is like, Google the Brighton lot and some of their local papers. Send the Greens in Worcester, back to where they came from.
Where is that?
[quote][p][bold]Shropshirelad[/bold] wrote: Have this in mind at the next time the Greens put themselves forward, it is not our Council Laurenson speaking for himself on Council issues - it is those in the background who are calling the tune. What a disreputable lot but I say again and again, if you wish to know what a Green Council is like, Google the Brighton lot and some of their local papers. Send the Greens in Worcester, back to where they came from.[/p][/quote]Where is that? PeterNielsen
  • Score: 5

5:04pm Wed 28 May 14

PeterNielsen says...

Nortynorse wrote:
Well said Shropshirelad, who in their right mind vote for the Greens, they have no creditable mandate and a vote for them is a vote lost.

By the time Global Warming takes hold , I will be pushing up the daisies!!!
And future generations?
[quote][p][bold]Nortynorse[/bold] wrote: Well said Shropshirelad, who in their right mind vote for the Greens, they have no creditable mandate and a vote for them is a vote lost. By the time Global Warming takes hold , I will be pushing up the daisies!!![/p][/quote]And future generations? PeterNielsen
  • Score: 7

6:16pm Wed 28 May 14

The Boy says...

Louis' support has been invaluable to me, as has the support of local and national Greens. Councillors in other parties on the city council can get advice from their group. Some, like Liz Smith, the Lib Dem councillor, have over 20 years' experience. Surely it is to be expected that I would seek advice from others in order to make good decisions? If the article gives the impression that I have barely been involved, then I can assure you that I have spent many hours on this. I’m not after thanks or praise; just a wider acknowledgement of the reality that councillors are bound to seek the views of others. Indeed, I have done this with residents, so why not with party members such as Louis? - NL
Louis' support has been invaluable to me, as has the support of local and national Greens. Councillors in other parties on the city council can get advice from their group. Some, like Liz Smith, the Lib Dem councillor, have over 20 years' experience. Surely it is to be expected that I would seek advice from others in order to make good decisions? If the article gives the impression that I have barely been involved, then I can assure you that I have spent many hours on this. I’m not after thanks or praise; just a wider acknowledgement of the reality that councillors are bound to seek the views of others. Indeed, I have done this with residents, so why not with party members such as Louis? - NL The Boy
  • Score: 6

10:20pm Wed 28 May 14

Samboy says...

I am not a supporter of the Green Party, but, surely every councillor is guided by his party's policy. After all it is on the basis of party policy by which every candidate makes his case for election.
I am not a supporter of the Green Party, but, surely every councillor is guided by his party's policy. After all it is on the basis of party policy by which every candidate makes his case for election. Samboy
  • Score: 7

12:01am Thu 29 May 14

dontburnourfuture says...

Rather a vindictive little article by Tory Tom.
Well at leased we know who the WN votes for, though many of the electorate don’t.

It would be so refreshing to have impartial reporting instead of the ‘ News of the World slant’
So the Greens actually meet and decide on policy.
Even more scandalous they save money by meeting at someone's house.
I’ve heard they drink tea, what is the world coming to?
Neil and Louis talk to each other - What a non story.

I suppose it is to paint Louis as a communist infiltrator in a respectable ‘middle class’
constituency’ to scupper his chances next time.

The electorate are not as stupid as you give us credit for, well not those who have stopped voting for the main parties.
Don’t mention threatening to dig up dead relatives , or even MPs Duck Houses or the Westland helicopters.
No Lois has meetings in his house.
Rather a vindictive little article by Tory Tom. Well at leased we know who the WN votes for, though many of the electorate don’t. It would be so refreshing to have impartial reporting instead of the ‘ News of the World slant’ So the Greens actually meet and decide on policy. Even more scandalous they save money by meeting at someone's house. I’ve heard they drink tea, what is the world coming to? Neil and Louis talk to each other - What a non story. I suppose it is to paint Louis as a communist infiltrator in a respectable ‘middle class’ constituency’ to scupper his chances next time. The electorate are not as stupid as you give us credit for, well not those who have stopped voting for the main parties. Don’t mention threatening to dig up dead relatives , or even MPs Duck Houses or the Westland helicopters. No Lois has meetings in his house. dontburnourfuture
  • Score: 5

12:19pm Thu 29 May 14

nicki1967 says...

I'm guessing that the people who have made ridiculous comments on here do not understand that a party is better when it's members work together. Louis works really hard in my area and why shouldn't he be available to give advice to Neil. I'm sure that Neil, and his advisers, will do what is best for the city once negotiations are complete with the the 2 majority parties.
I'm guessing that the people who have made ridiculous comments on here do not understand that a party is better when it's members work together. Louis works really hard in my area and why shouldn't he be available to give advice to Neil. I'm sure that Neil, and his advisers, will do what is best for the city once negotiations are complete with the the 2 majority parties. nicki1967
  • Score: 0

12:44pm Thu 29 May 14

Nortynorse says...

Again I reiterate what I said earlier, just what useful purpose will the greens serve in this council (apart from power brokeringa deal with either Labour or the Tories)

PeterNeilsen said "and future generations", as I said before this will never happen in my, or my grandchildrens lifetime so why worry!!!!

Burn baby, burn.
Again I reiterate what I said earlier, just what useful purpose will the greens serve in this council (apart from power brokeringa deal with either Labour or the Tories) PeterNeilsen said "and future generations", as I said before this will never happen in my, or my grandchildrens lifetime so why worry!!!! Burn baby, burn. Nortynorse
  • Score: 1

11:16pm Thu 29 May 14

PeterNielsen says...

Nortynorse wrote:
Again I reiterate what I said earlier, just what useful purpose will the greens serve in this council (apart from power brokeringa deal with either Labour or the Tories)

PeterNeilsen said "and future generations", as I said before this will never happen in my, or my grandchildrens lifetime so why worry!!!!

Burn baby, burn.
If "this" will never happen in the lifetime of your children or grandchildren, when will "this" happen? Do you care that it may happen in 100 years? You give the impression that you couldn't care less.
[quote][p][bold]Nortynorse[/bold] wrote: Again I reiterate what I said earlier, just what useful purpose will the greens serve in this council (apart from power brokeringa deal with either Labour or the Tories) PeterNeilsen said "and future generations", as I said before this will never happen in my, or my grandchildrens lifetime so why worry!!!! Burn baby, burn.[/p][/quote]If "this" will never happen in the lifetime of your children or grandchildren, when will "this" happen? Do you care that it may happen in 100 years? You give the impression that you couldn't care less. PeterNielsen
  • Score: 1

6:59pm Fri 30 May 14

copierman says...

Hwicce wrote:
And this is exactly what is wrong with politics in this country and why most people don't bother to vote.

The policy is being decided by people who haven't got the guts to stand themselves and hide behind minority candidates who happen to be lucky enough to be in a position of influence massively disproportionate to their actual votes.

A plague on all your houses - Romeo And Juliet (3.1)
Do not agree with your statement " why most people don't bother to vote"
I think the opposite, this is a good reason to vote to try and stop a minority group having a casting vote.
[quote][p][bold]Hwicce[/bold] wrote: And this is exactly what is wrong with politics in this country and why most people don't bother to vote. The policy is being decided by people who haven't got the guts to stand themselves and hide behind minority candidates who happen to be lucky enough to be in a position of influence massively disproportionate to their actual votes. A plague on all your houses - Romeo And Juliet (3.1)[/p][/quote]Do not agree with your statement " why most people don't bother to vote" I think the opposite, this is a good reason to vote to try and stop a minority group having a casting vote. copierman
  • Score: 0

7:21pm Sat 31 May 14

Jaddabab says...

I prefer the colour green to the colour blue when it comes to politics - for as everyone knows - blue is the colour of the impending CONPOCALYPSE
I prefer the colour green to the colour blue when it comes to politics - for as everyone knows - blue is the colour of the impending CONPOCALYPSE Jaddabab
  • Score: 2

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