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Archive - Saturday, 5 May 2007
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Negotiation will start to work out coalition
THE political future of Redcar and Cleveland District Council hung in the balance last night after no single party was able to take overall control in the local elections.
Labour boosted its seats from 22 to 28, but was two short of taking overall control. However, the party remains favourite to head a coalition.
It will now be up to the parties to decide whether to unite to form a ruling coalition.
It will take 30 councillors to form a majority. Labour has 28 seats, the Liberal Democrats 13, Conservatives 11, the Independent Group four, the East Cleveland Independents one, Loftus Independent one, and East Cleveland/Guisborough Independents one.
In the 2003 elections, a coalition group took control of the council from the Labour Party.
Since then, it has been ruled by a mixture of Liberal Democrats, Conservatives and Independents.
After the last election, Labour had 23 seats, Liberal Democrats 15, Conservatives 13 and the new East Cleveland, Eston and Marske Independents eight.
The state of the parties now means that there is likely to be a lot of hard bargaining ahead before any coalition is formed.
Labour Party leader George Dunning said the group was to hold its annual meeting today, where the group will decide what action to take.
He said: "It has been extremely hard in opposition for the Labour Group. Options to put forward will be will be whether to stay in opposition or whether to talk to other parties, whoever those parties may be."
The election results represented a fall in support for the Liberal Democrats, who lost three seats, while the Conservatives lost two.