Coalition isn’t likely at Shire Hall say Warwickshire councillors

Shire Hall - Warwickshire County Council is still waiting to find out how severe the cuts will be.
Shire Hall - Warwickshire County Council is still waiting to find out how severe the cuts will be.

Last week’s election left Warwickshire County Council without a leader and in limbo this week.

The Conservatives remain the majority party but did lose council leader Alan Farnell to Green Cllr Keith Kondakor and their overall majority.

The county council will elect a new leader at Shire Hall tomorrow at a meeting at 2pm. Only after a new leader is elected will councillors have a better idea on what policy agreements may exist between the county’s three main parties.

Conservative Cllr Peter Butlin, a portfolio holder in the last council set up, said agreements will be made after the new Conservative leader is put in place. He added that it was unlikely there would be a formal coalition between political groups and that it’s likely the council’s cabinet will remain Conservative.

“Whatever happens it’s going to be a tough four years for the council because of its reduced budget. The important thing is the electorate has spoken and the council will find a way to function effectively.”

He added: “If you factor in UKIP votes the electorate seems to have shifted to the right, which suggests that although Labour won seats, they are not necessarily winning the broader political arguments.”

The Tories previously held 38 of the 62 seats on the council with the Liberal Democrats haededeving 11, Labour ten, one independent and two being vacant before the results of last Thursday’s voting were known.

Across the county The Conservatives won or held 26 seats while Labour had a large gain, winning 22. The Liberal Democrats lost two seats while The Green Party now has two. Independent councillors will now occupy three seats.

Perhaps the most eye-catching result in Rugby was independent Cllr Howard Roberts taking the traditionally Conservative division of Dunchurch.