Burnley Council coalition collapses with Labour and LIb Dems unable to find an agreement
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Talks between the two parties over the future control of the authority have broken down.
In last week’s local elections Labour gained gained two seats meaning it now has 21 councillors, two short of the 23 which would have given it overall control.
This leaves Labour set to go it alone as a minority administration relying on issue by issue support from the seven Conservatives, seven LibDems, seven Greens, and three Burnley and Padiham Independents who make up the rest of the council.
Labour group and current council leader Coun. Afrasiab Anwar had hoped to be able to extend the pact.
For the last two years Briercliffe ward’s Coun. Maggie Lishman has been health and wellbeing boss on the borough’s ruling executive as part of the deal.
Coun. Birtwistle said: “There is no deal with Labour.
“It is off. The group decision has been made.
“Labour is going to go it alone as a minority administration.
“The Liberal Democrats get nothing from the deal.
“They take all the praise, publicity and credit and we take all the stick and pain.
“When it comes to elections we get no benefit from it.
“We will support the good things and oppose the bad things. We will be a very, very effective and conscientious opposition party.
“Maggie Lishman did a fantastic job with health and wellbeing but we were a very small part of the administration.”
Coun. Anwar is expected to be the only nomination to lead the authority at the council’s annual meeting on Tuesday.
He said: “We had hoped the partnership with the Liberal Democrats could continue for the residents of the borough.
“It showed what can be delivered when we work together.
“But this was a decision for the Liberal Democrat group.
“I should like to put on record my thanks to Coun. Maggie Lishman who did a fantastic job on the executive.
“We will seek to continue as a minority administration and talk to the other groups.
“We think we have delivered for the borough on things like Pioneer Place, purchasing Charter Walk and Newtown Mill as part of creating a thriving and aspiring university town.”