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Labour gets green light for talks over coalition deal on West Norfolk council

Conservatives lost seats and control of West Norfolk council at last week's local elections <i>(Image: Chris Bishop)</i>
Conservatives lost seats and control of West Norfolk council at last week's local elections (Image: Chris Bishop)

West Norfolk has come a step closer to being run by a rainbow coalition.

Charles Joyce, leader of the Labour group on the borough council, said it had been given the green light by its national HQ to hold power sharing talks with other parties after last week's local elections.

Eastern Daily Press: Charles Joyce, Labour leader on West Norfolk council
Eastern Daily Press: Charles Joyce, Labour leader on West Norfolk council

Charles Joyce, Labour leader on West Norfolk council (Image: BCKLWN)

"We'll have red lines, they'll have red lines so we'll have to see where we go," he said.

"We've got to have some flexibility on things like charges for using the two community centres, they're £29 an hour and there has to be some concession."

Eastern Daily Press: How things now stand on West Norfolk council after last week's vote
Eastern Daily Press: How things now stand on West Norfolk council after last week's vote

How things now stand on West Norfolk council after last week's vote (Image: Chris Bishop)

READ MORE: Coalition talks under way in West Norfolk after Conservatives lose control of council

Mr Joyce added he also had concerns over whether the charges for the disposal of large items of waste such as sofas, which are currently £37.50 for up to three items.

He said he had been speaking to Terry Parish, leader of the Independents, who had been feeding details of the discussion back to other members of the group.

Eastern Daily Press: Charles Joyce (left) watches the count in 2003, when Labour lost control of the council to the Conservatives
Eastern Daily Press: Charles Joyce (left) watches the count in 2003, when Labour lost control of the council to the Conservatives

Charles Joyce (left) watches the count in 2003, when Labour lost control of the council to the Conservatives (Image: Matthew Usher)

Matters are not expected to be formally decided for some days, leaving the council in limbo until then.

Membership of committees such as planning and redevelopment can not be decided until it becomes clear who is at the helm.

Conservatives lost overall control of the council for the first time since 2003 after a bruising at the ballot box.

The final count left them with 21 seats, the independents 18, Labour 11, the Liberal Democrats three and the Greens two in West Norfolk.

Eastern Daily Press: Conservative leader Stuart Dark (centre) awaits the result with party members at Lynnsport
Eastern Daily Press: Conservative leader Stuart Dark (centre) awaits the result with party members at Lynnsport

Conservative leader Stuart Dark (centre) awaits the result with party members at Lynnsport (Image: Chris Bishop)

Some 28 are needed for overall control of the 55-member council.

With support from the Lib Dems and Greens, the independents have 23, meaning they must get Labour on board to form a majority administration.

Kay Mason-Billig, the new leader of Norfolk County Council, said she believes last week's the swing away from the Tories stemmed from a protest at the national party.

West Norfolk was one of four councils the party lost across Norfolk and Waveney.