Talks to decide who runs Monmouthshire County Council ‘on a knife edge’
Saul Cooke-Black, local democracy reporter
Talks over which parties will form an alliance to run Monmouthshire County Council are said to be “on a knife edge”, with no agreement yet reached.
The council’s Independent group will hold the balance of power over which party takes charge at Thursday’s full council meeting.
The county council has no overall control following the local elections on May 5, with 22 Labour, 18 Conservative, five Independent and one Green party councillor elected.
Newly elected Green Party councillor Ian Chandler will form part of the Independent group – while remaining part of the Green Party – due to the need to form part of a political group on the council.
That means the Independent group, with six members, could form an alliance with either Labour or the Conservatives to form a majority administration with 24 councillors.
Cllr Frances Taylor, leader of the Independent group, said discussions are ‘ongoing’, with just days left to reach an agreement.
“The group are just keen to take some time and to think things through,” Cllr Taylor said.
“There’s no update at present.”
Labour councillor Martyn Groucutt confirmed that discussions have been held by new group leader Mary Ann Brocklesby with the Independent group, but he said that no agreement has been reached.
He said the Independents could choose to side with either the Labour or Conservative groups.
“It’s on a knife-edge” he said.
Monmouthshire council’s Labour group said it would not be making any announcements in advance of Thursday’s full council meeting, where a new administration will be formed with a leader elected and cabinet member appointments made.
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