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Talks between Greens and Labour ‘going well’ on Stroud District Council

Greens celebrate their best ever results on Stroud District Council as they secure 22 seats (Pic: Carmelo Garcia)

TALKS between the Greens and Labour at Stroud District Council are understood to be going well as the different parties “have an appetite to work constructively”.

The Green Party and Labour are by far the largest groups on the council after each took 22 and 20 seats respectively.

The Tories secured seven of the 51 on offer at Ebley Mill during the elections on May 2 while the Liberal Democrats had two councillors elected.

With the minimum number of seats needed for an overall majority  being 26, the groups will have to find common ground to get initiatives approved by the council.

Green Party Councillor Pete Kennedy (Painswick and Upton) says it is very early days but talks are going well with other groups.

He anticipates news will come next week on how the new administration at Ebley Mill will look.

“There is a lot of appetite to work constructively in the situation we’ve all found ourselves in,” he said.

“No one is looking to mess things up. People are being sensible and doing what’s right to make it work.”

Stroud Labour campaigners are ecstatic with their results last week but a Labour Party source said their group was not in the position to say how any future administration could look.

“Nobody has an outright majority so if parties want to get things done they will have to work with others,” they said.

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Labour achieved its highest number of councillors since 1996 and a substantial increase on its earlier position of just four members on the authority.

Labour group leader Steve Robinson, (Nailsworth and Horsley) said: “Residents have given us their clear backing and we are delighted with this result.

“We stood on a platform to support more affordable housing, regenerate our high streets, rebuild our communities, and tackle the high cost of living.

“Across the district people have told us this is what they want.”

Labour councillor Steve Robinson was extremely happy with his party\’s result in Stroud. They secured 20 out of the 51 seats on offer at Ebley Mill (Pic: Carmelo Garcia)

Conservative group leader Lindsey Green (C, Severn) said she has had no contact from any of the groups since the election count on Saturday.

“I had people saying to me, you’ll probably get a phone call from the Greens,” she said.

“Well, I’m willing to listen. I’m not willing to make any promises. But it has got to come from them.”

Stroud District Council has historically been run by an alliance administration between different progressive groups including Labour, the Green Party, Liberal Democrats.

It has most recently been rub by an alliance of the Greens with the Liberal Democrats and two Independent groups of former Labour councillors.

The Liberal Democrat councillor Linda Cohen (LD, Wotton-under-Edge) says it is important for residents that there is continuity on the council.

Her party is willing to work co-operatively while holding the council to account on behalf of residents.