Great Yarmouth’s town hall leaders rule out coalition in wake of elections as they pledge to work for the people
10:54 29 May 2014
Great Yarmouth’s Conservative, Labour and UKIP leaders have pledged to work for the people of the borough - and not let party politics muddy the town hall waters.
The borough council has been left with no overall control in the wake of last week’s elections, which left Labour with 15 seats, the Conservatives with 14 and UKIP - which stormed the polls - with 10.
All three parties have rigidly ruled out any kind of coalition but have said they will have to work together for the good of the borough.
Trevor Wainwright, Labour leader, said he and his members would not “block” any proposals for the “sake of party politics” and thought all three groups wanted to do the best for residents.
“We will all have to work closely together because of the make up of the council,” he added. “We all want what is the best for the residents of Yarmouth.”
Mr Wainwright stressed there would be no pacts or deals between Labour and the other parties, but said the groups were in discussion and the council should be in a position to say how it will move forward by Monday.
Kay Grey, the newly appointed leader of Great Yarmouth’s UKIP party, said her door was open to the other parties and she was “quite open” to listening to them - as long as they listened to her.
Mrs Grey, who beat Conservative mayor John Burroughs and former Labour MP Tony Wright to take her seat in Gorleston, added: “To move anything forward we have got to discuss things and not let the colour of your tie get in the way.
“Anything that’s put forward we will vote with the best interests of our wards at heart. I’m not there to argue, I’m there to put forward things we feel, as a party, are good for the borough.”
Mrs Grey thought it was “quite refreshing” that some of the 13 seats up for grabs last week were so closely fought, but said discussion needed to happen and suggested that the three party leaders could meet regularly to talk.
Graham Plant, Conservative leader, echoed both her sentiments and those of Mr Wainwright’s and said all three parties would have to compromise and have open talks to move things forward.
“We have our policies, and we put a few things in our [election] leaflets, that we’d like to see happen but that’s going to have to be through negotiation - it’s not something we can expect,” he added.
“We’re local councillors, party politics - to my mind - are not what we’re about. We’re about getting the best thing for Great Yarmouth residents. Party politics comes second.”