FIRST of all, it is good that a non-Labour coalition is emerging to take control of Durham County Council – good, because that is what the people voted for.

The voters only elected 53 out of 126 Labour councillors, which is not a majority. However, because of the disparate nature of the other 73 councillors, it was hard to see a coalition emerging, especially given the recent unhappy history of coalitions in this country.

But if there was any message to come from the confused election result it is that the people were returning non-Labour councillors who they expected to work together to run a stable council. It is right that the politicians are trying to make that happen.

The new alliance, though, seems to be coalescing around a position that is against the continuing construction of the new county hall.

It is true that the new county hall is not popular with the public, but it was the previous Labour administration’s solution to various problems: the existing 1960s county hall is old, inefficient and too large – the new one is a third the size; the old site would be converted into a business park which could create 6,000 jobs in the city rather than on the greenland on the outside.

Opposing the new county hall is quite easy; offering a better solution to all of those problems is going to be a massive first task for the incoming administration.