Following the local elections on 5th May, Borough of Poole was left with no overall control. The council comprises 21 Conservative, 18 Liberal Democrat and three Poole People members.Poole Borough said discussions between the three party leaders have been ongoing since the elections and the leaders of the two largest parties have now reached broad agreement, subject to Council approval.
Proposals, to be presented to a meeting of the Full Council on Monday 16th May, will see Cllr Elaine Atkinson remain as Leader of the council. The Conservatives, as the largest party, will form a minority administration and Cabinet. As the second largest party, the Liberal Democrats will form the official opposition and chair the majority of scrutiny committees.
Cllr Mark Howell, Leader of the Poole People Group, said: “Having put forward a coalition plan including revitalization of the town center and restoration of Poole’s identity we are disappointed that neither party has recognized the mandate that has been given to us by electors nor entered into serious negotiations with us. We will, however, continue to work hard to build cross party consensus around those issues that are important to the people of Poole.”
Cllr Elaine Atkinson, Leader of the Conservative Group, Borough of Poole, said: “We feel that negotiations have been tough but fair and this new structure reflects the wishes of the people of Poole. As the largest party we consider it entirely appropriate that we should form the Cabinet.”
Cllr Mike Brooke, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Borough of Poole, said: “We have always argued that the opposition should have the Scrutiny chairs so that Cabinet can be effectively held to account. Negotiations have been hard but it looks as though we will be in a strong position to carry out our role as the main opposition party.”