End this stalemate before businesses suffer - warning over limbo at Norfolk County Council

Caroline Williams, chief executive of Norfolk County Council.

Caroline Williams, chief executive of Norfolk County Council. - Credit: Archant

Business leaders have called for party leaders to end the deadlock at Norfolk County Council - before the county's companies suffer from the stalemate.

The elections earlier this month have left County Hall under no overall political control, with 40 Conservatives, 15 UKIP, 14 Labour, 10 Liberal Democrats, four Greens and one independent.

A bid by the Conservatives to run the council as a minority administration failed on Monday, while talks between the Tories and the Lib Dems failed to lead to a coalition.

And the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce has written to all the political leaders calling for a swift end to the impasse.

Caroline Williams, chief executive of Norfolk Chamber said: 'The continued uncertainty surrounding the direction of Norfolk County Council could damage business confidence and have a detrimental impact on economic growth, should the deadlock be prolonged.

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It is hoped that future direction of the council will be resolved at the meeting on May 24 and the valuable hard work of the Norfolk County Council will once again move forward.'

Meanwhile, the Norfolk Conservative group has thrown down the gauntlet to other parties as the limbo continues.

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Despite failing to convince the rest of the council to let them run the authority as a minority administration, the Conservatives insist they intend to push ahead with their plans to freeze council tax, invest an extra £20m in highways improvement schemes and protect the fire service.

Bill Borrett, leader of the Conservative group, said: 'We might not have a majority but that doesn't mean we are going to start watering down our policies.

'We will seek to lead the council and its services in a better direction – either the parties can help us do that, or they'll be left behind'.

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