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Lib Dem surge causes confusion over who Preston’s ‘political opposition’ now is

Posted on - 3rd May, 2019 - 8:38pm | Author - | Posted in - Cadley, Cottam, Greyfriars, Ingol, Politics, Preston Council, Preston News
The Lib Dems react on securing Cadley ward Pic: Jack Dinsley
The Lib Dems react on securing Cadley ward Pic: Jack Dinsley

Preston’s Lib Dem councillors are locked in talks tonight with their Tory counterparts after a surge in support.

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Liberal Democrats took Cadley, Greyfriars along with Ingol and Cottam to secure nine councillors.

A collapse in the Conservative vote saw the two parties finishing on nine councillors each.

Preston City Council’s constitution has no rules set for when two parties tie and now a series of meetings will take place.

Read more: See the full ward-by-ward results for Preston local elections

The city council’s chief executive Adrian Phillips confirmed to Blog Preston we enter a period known as ‘political balance’.

Labour are the largest party with 30 councillors and a majority of five, but to function the city council must have an opposition.

Watch the moment the Lib Dems secured their nine seats

Liberal Democrat Cadley councillor John Potter said: “We had a target of nine seats today, but we were obviously a bit nervous.

“There was some tough fights going against some well established Tory areas, like Greyfriars and Cottom and Ingol. Because of the boundary areas now coming into part of our wards.

“We would have settled for six seats but nine was the target and we hit it.

“It’s brilliant and we’re delighted. They were good wins as well and we are so over the moon.”

Potter tweeted a picture during Friday (3 May) evening of him sat in the Town Hall preparing for a ‘political balance’ meeting with other political parties.

Read more: Labour retained their grip on power in Preston

Political balance means of the 77 seats on committees, such as planning committees, or overview and scrutiny, the Lib Dems and Tories will take on a number of the committee roles.

Additional reporting by Jack Dinsley

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