There is no longer a governing majority nor an opposing minority in the City Council of Akureyri, North Iceland, RÚV reports. Instead, all hands are on deck: councillors from all parties will work together for the remainder of this term in an attempt to tackle the large operational deficit facing the region’s largest town.
“We face big projects ahead, both due to the pandemic and the conditions of society today, and we believe that we will achieve better results if we all work together on those projects,” stated Halla Björk Reynisdóttir, the council’s president and councillor for the party L-listinn.
After the last municipal elections, the Progressive Party, Social Democratic Alliance, and L-listinn formed a governing majority. The Independence Party, Left-Green Party, and Centre Party formed the opposing minority in the 11-seat council. Now those alignments have been abolished. In order to redistribute authority, councillors from the former minority parties have taken over chairmanship in five of the city’s boards and councils (chairmanship of the largest boards and councils remains unchanged).
The new council was announced in a press conference at cultural centre Hof in Akureyri yesterday. Akureyri’s operational deficit this year is projected at ISK 3 billion ($21.7m/€18.6m), and the council’s governing agreement outlines austerity measures in order to turn the trend around. These measures include sale of property, a revision of senior officials’ salaries, and an increase in tariffs.
Independence Party Councillor Gunnar Gíslason says the reorganisation of Akureyri’s City Council is meant to help councillors “reach a consensus on what measures we take to reverse this [financial] development.”