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Basildon Council to be run by minority rule
THE Conservatives look set to continue running Basildon as a minority administration, despite suffering heavy losses in the local election.
Ukip scooped 11 seats in Thursday’s election to wipe out the Tory majority and take the council into no overall control.
The win has seen national attention focus on the party in the borough, but it seems it will not take part in running it.
There are now 17 Tories at the Basildon Centre, five councillors short of being able to win votes on their own.
Ukip and Labour will also be electing new group leaders early this week, meaning negotiations would not be able to start until Tuesday night at the earliest.
But some councillors have set out their stalls ahead of the talks.
Kerry Smith, who won Nethermayne for Ukip on Thursday, said: “There is not going to be a coalition between Ukip and the Conservatives. If we wanted to do that, we would have stood as Conservatives.
“Personally speaking, I think it should be a Tory minority administration. If they’ve got anything sensible we will support it, if they’ve got anything silly, we will vote against it.”
Nigel Smith, who is standing down as leader of the tenstrong Labour group tomorrow, said: “I don’t think the Labour group will go into any deals with anyone.
“It may be a matter of things being decided on an issue-by-issue basis and all councillors deciding.
“It might slow down decision making, but it may be a good thing because it may make the council more responsive to residents.”
Veteran Tory Kevin Blake, councillor responsible for leisure and arts, said: “I’d rule nothing in or out, butmy personal view is I don’t want to join forces with anyone, I’m just a Conservative.
“You can see we’re getting punished for being in coalition in central Government and having wishy-washy policies.”
The Conservatives and Labour are both electing new leaders tomorrow night, with Ukip’s new man in charge set to be announced later today.
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