Stoke & Staffordshire

Stoke-on-Trent City Council coalition agrees power-sharing deal

Election count in Stoke-on-Trent
Image caption Labour were just two short of a majority after elections on 7 May

A coalition of independent, Conservative and UKIP councillors is to run Stoke-on-Trent City Council after a deal was struck on Wednesday night.

Labour lost overall control of the authority after elections last week, but remain the single largest group.

Other parties immediately ruled out supporting Labour leader Mohammed Pervez and have agreed a power-sharing deal.

Independent Dave Conway is expected to be named council leader.

The party is the second biggest on the council, with 14 seats, compared with Labour's 21.

"We've been placed in this position, we've got to deal with it," Mr Conway said.

"We cannot carry on as we have done for the last four or five years. We've got to make changes and those changes will be for the betterment of this city and its people."

Conservative Abi Brown will be the deputy leader and said she believed the coalition would not only be "strong" but last for next four years.

The council has traditionally been held by Labour, but has previous experience of forming coalitions as recently as 2009 and 2010.

The latest coalition is due to be formally agreed and elected to power at the annual council meeting on 28 May.

Seats won at 7 May elections

  • Labour: 21
  • City Independents: 14
  • Conservative: 7
  • UKIP: 2

Phil Bowers, BBC Radio Stoke

The new coalition in change of Stoke-on-Trent City Council has some big plans, which will drastically alter the city's direction from the previous Labour administration.

The controversial Smithfield development, costing nearly £50m, was to be the council's new base and the heart of the Central Business District.

The City Independents, the largest group in the coalition, want the buildings sold and the council to remain in the town of Stoke, as well as looking at new tram system to connect Stoke with the retail centre in Hanley.

The last time a coalition was in place was a four-way agreement between The Conservatives, City Independents, Liberal Democrats and Labour in 2010.

That only lasted a year before Labour gained a majority in the first full council elections in 2011.

The three parties involved this time insist they aren't as far apart as many people would think, but the difficulty will be agreeing on the level of cuts needed when central government agrees its funding later in the year.

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