Two councillors who hold the key to the balance of power at Waveney District Council are expected to reveal their decisions this week.

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"I think there is some legitimacy in our looking to work with both of them."

Julian Swainson, new leader of Labour in Waveney

While the Conservatives lost overall control of the council at last week’s election, Labour gained eight seats. The result was a hung council with 23 Labour, 23 Conservative, one Green and one Independent.

Even before the results had been declared on Friday afternoon, it became clear that the Conservatives would spend the next 48 hours courting Independent Peter Collecott, who represents the Oulton ward, and Green candidate Graham Elliott, who held on to his seat in the North Beccles ward, in a bid to form an alliance.

Labour, who appointed Julian Swainson as their leader on Sunday, are in talks to do the same.

Yesterday, the two councillors who hold the key to the balance of power at Waveney said they will make their decisions this week.

Both Mr Elliott and Mr Collecott have spoken to Conservative and Labour groups and to each other.

“It is a momentous decision to have to make and I am keeping all my options open,” said Mr Collecott.

“I have been talking to various people and in maybe a day or so I will come to a decision.”

Mr Elliott added: “I’ve heard what both group leaders have to say and negotiations have been very positive. I will be able to say more very soon.”

Newly elected councillor Mr Swainson, who is representing the Harbour ward in Lowestoft, said: “I think there is some legitimacy in our looking to work with both of them.

“It’s a very tight and very difficult situation. We’ve got to approach it with common sense and humility.

“We’ll have to see what arrangements we can make with the other parties, but we would only enter into such an agreement if the result was a stable council.”

Labour’s Tod Sullivan, who held his seat in Lowestoft’s Whitton ward, believes the party is in a strong position. “We need to explore the options,” he said.

“We’ve got quite a strong mandate; the wards we represent equate to quite a lot more people than the Conservative wards.”

Conservative leader Mark Bee, who is due to step down as leader on May 25 as he prepares to take the helm at Suffolk County Council, believes his party is in an equally strong position.

His replacement is due to be elected on May 18.

3 comments

  • You can bet anything you like that the Tories will try to hang on to power at any cost! They have been more wasteful of Council Tax payers in Waveney proportionally than Labour were when they were in power nationally but no one seems to realise that.

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    Dogberry

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

  • I think the council should look at how many people voted against the current council as we the voter wand a change I for one would like to see some change then maybe WDC will not stand for "WE DONT CARE" could it become We do care!!!! let hope

    Report this comment

    miss joan

    Monday, May 9, 2011

  • Correction - You can bet anything you like that the Tories will try to hang on to power at any cost! They have been more wasteful of Council Tax in Waveney proportionally than Labour were when they were in power nationally but no one seems to realise that

    Report this comment

    Dogberry

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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