Liberal Democrats look likely to run city council

A council looks likely to be run by a Liberal Democrat minority administration after other groups ruled out entering into formal alliances.

Last week, for the first time in two decades, the Conservatives lost control of Gloucester City Council and the Liberal Democrats become the biggest party.

But despite having 17 out of 39 councillors, the party does not have enough seats to control the council outright.

Councillor Jeremy Hilton said conversations with all groups were ongoing.

Labour, which secured seven seats on the council, has ruled out entering into any formal agreement with the Liberal Democrats, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

The Conservatives secured 11 seats and councillor Andy Lewis said the party would need to regroup and "get down to being in opposition".

He said his party had met with Mr Hilton and his deputy.

'Run by consensus'

“It’s going to be by consensus rather than deals," Mr Lewis said.

“We will challenge them on things, obviously.

"But as long as what they are doing is in the best interest of the people of Gloucester, no problem whatsoever," he added.

The Independent group, which secured four seats on the council, has previously ruled out doing any deals with other parties.

Mr Hilton said: “We want to find the centre of gravity between the groups and see where there is common agreement.

“We will be looking to get it all set so that there’s a good administration of the council and that it is collaborative and cooperative between all of the political groups and nobody is sidelined.”

If his party forms an administration, it is understood the number of cabinet positions may increase from five to seven.

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