Castle Point Council’s coalition talks break down

Echo: Coalition – Dave Blackwell Coalition – Dave Blackwell

A THREE-PARTY coalition could be the way forward for Castle Point Council.

The authority hangs in the balance after Ukip wiped out Conservative control.

The anti-EU party gained five seats from the Conservatives in the local election – including that of council leader Pam Challis – to remove their majority.

No single party can now run the council on their own, but negotiations about the future stalled over the weekend and may not re-start properly until Wednesday, the Echo understands.

Dave Blackwell, leader of Canvey Independent Party, wants the council to be run by a coalition made up of his party alongside the Conservatives and Ukip.

The Eurosceptic party is understood to be receptive to the plan – which would make Castle Point one of the first places in the country where they gain power.

The Conservatives, who are still the largest party, are less keen.

Mr Blackwell said: “A power sharing agreement between all three parties would be for the benefit of the community.

“We can’t go it alone as Ukip and us would only have a majority of one, which would not be stable, and the Conservatives don’t have a majority.

“We won’t go into coalition just with the Conservatives, because local people have voted for Ukip in large numbers and they can’t be dismissed.”

The Ukip group chose new Appleton councillor Alan Bayley as its leader and Victoria ward councillor Paul Varker as deputy on Saturday.

Mr Varker said: “It’s early days yet and negotiations are still ongoing. It’s a hung council, so we’ve got to make sure each party gets their own people in there.

“We’re happy to work with both of them as a three-way split providing they’re happy with it and we can do what’s best for Castle Point.”

But Conservative acting leader Jeffrey Stanley, who has put himself forward for the role on a permanent basis, didn’t think the idea was necessary.

He said: “It’s certainly a difficult situation for everybody.

We’re still considering what to do and it’s too early to say what might come out of it. It doesn’t need to be all three parties, mathematically.

As the largest party, if we formed an agreement with the Canvey Independent Party that would give us a majority.

“If we formed an arrangement with Ukip that would give us a workable majority.

“Before I can say what will happen, I need to speak to all Conservative members.”

Talks between the groups may not resume until after the Tories choose their permanent leader on Wednesday.

Comments (5)

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3:10pm Tue 27 May 14

pembury53 says...

typical tory arrogance..... accept your defeat with grace, and take your rightful place at the new trough, feeding off the crumbs, tossed your way by the jubilant UKIPers....
typical tory arrogance..... accept your defeat with grace, and take your rightful place at the new trough, feeding off the crumbs, tossed your way by the jubilant UKIPers.... pembury53
  • Score: 6

4:38pm Tue 27 May 14

mauwoman says...

This is where party politics shouldn't be part of Local Government
This is where party politics shouldn't be part of Local Government mauwoman
  • Score: 0

4:55pm Tue 27 May 14

John Right says...

For something to break down, implies it was working beforehand, this lot have been infighting for years, hence Pammy Chally, being wheeled out to the asylum
For something to break down, implies it was working beforehand, this lot have been infighting for years, hence Pammy Chally, being wheeled out to the asylum John Right
  • Score: 2

6:40pm Tue 27 May 14

upset says...

You've been great in opposition DB now it's your chance to show what you can do by leading the council with your new found buddies!!!
You did a deal with Ukip prior to the election, thats why they did not put any candidates on Canvey, why now don't you kick your long term enemies into touch, or is the chance to stand up and be counted putting fear into you?
Your whole political career you have been saying how bad the Tories have been, now you want to have a coalition with them, in my view that's worse than the Lib Dem's and the Tories and CIIP supports will think hard about voting for you again if you do team up with the Tories. More over if you don't stand with Ukip alone, you can bet Ukip will be gunning for the CIIP seats at the first opportunity. Rock and a Hard place come to mind.
You've been great in opposition DB now it's your chance to show what you can do by leading the council with your new found buddies!!! You did a deal with Ukip prior to the election, thats why they did not put any candidates on Canvey, why now don't you kick your long term enemies into touch, or is the chance to stand up and be counted putting fear into you? Your whole political career you have been saying how bad the Tories have been, now you want to have a coalition with them, in my view that's worse than the Lib Dem's and the Tories and CIIP supports will think hard about voting for you again if you do team up with the Tories. More over if you don't stand with Ukip alone, you can bet Ukip will be gunning for the CIIP seats at the first opportunity. Rock and a Hard place come to mind. upset
  • Score: -1

11:16am Wed 28 May 14

Sim0n says...

The talks can only have broken down between CIIP and UKIP as the Conservatives have not met to select a new leader and deputy leader, so no meaningful talks could have taken place with the decision makers.

A new leader and deputy should be elected tonight (Wednesday 28th May 2014 then and only then can any talks begin properly, it is not arrogance it is democracy
The talks can only have broken down between CIIP and UKIP as the Conservatives have not met to select a new leader and deputy leader, so no meaningful talks could have taken place with the decision makers. A new leader and deputy should be elected tonight (Wednesday 28th May 2014 then and only then can any talks begin properly, it is not arrogance it is democracy Sim0n
  • Score: 0

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