Gloucester City Council on course to be run by Lib Dem minority administration as Labour, Tories and indies rule out deals

Gloucester City Council looks likely to be run by a Liberal Democrat minority administration as the other groups rule out any formal alliance. The Lib Dems became the largest party after winning last week’s elections.

However, with 17 out of 39 councillors, they do not have enough seats to control the council outright. They will need to rely on support from other groups.

But Labour, who secured seven seats on the council, have today ruled out entering into any formal agreement with the Lib Dems. Their group leader Terry Pullen (L, Moreland) said they are “not doing any deals with the Lib Dems”.

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“Tree [Chambers-Dubus] and I met with the leaders of the Lib Dems last night (May 7) and there is no deal to be made between Labour and the Lib Dems.”

When asked if the Lib Dems would form a minority administration, he said he could not comment on what they would do. “All I can tell you is that the Labour group position is we are not doing any deals with the Lib Dems,” he said.

The Conservatives, who lost overall control of the authority, secured 11 of the seats at North Warehouse. Councillor Andy Lewis (C, Quedgeley Severn Vale), their deputy group leader, said his group has also met with the Liberal Democrat group leader Jeremy Hilton (Kingsholm and Wotton) and his deputy Declan Wilson (Hucclecote).

Labour group leader Terry Pullen (L, Moreland) said they are “not doing any deals with the Lib Dems”.
Labour group leader Terry Pullen (L, Moreland) said they are “not doing any deals with the Lib Dems”. -Credit:Picture by Rosemary Watts

“It’s going to be by consensus rather than deals,” he 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.

“Jeremy and Declan have got to be given their chance to form an administration. As for the Tory councillors, we need to regroup and get down to being in opposition which is unusual for us.”

Cllr Hilton said they are still having conversations with all of the groups. “We didn’t offer Terry Pullen any administration deal anyway,” he said.

“We haven’t offered the Labour group any involvement directly in the administration of the council but we haven’t concluded conversations yet.

"We are in conversation with everybody. 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.

The Independent group which secured four seats on the council has previously ruled out doing any deals with the other groups. If the Lib Dems form an administration, it is understood the number of cabinet positions may increase from five to seven.

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