Progressive political parties in an Essex borough have agreed to run the local council together after making gains in local elections. The Liberal Democrats, Labor and the Green Party said in a joint statement that they had reached a coalition agreement and would work together to form a new administration.

As leader of the largest of the three groups, Councilor David King (Lib Dem, Mile End) will likely become the new leader of Colchester Borough Council, if approved by the full council next week.

The local authority still has no overall control after the election and the Conservatives remain the largest party with 19 council seats, despite losing one seat to the Greens and three to the Lib Dems on May 5.

Read more: Essex election results 2022: Colchester election results as no party has full control of council

But the three groups will combine their seats to reach the 26 necessary for a majority. In the statement, the group leaders said people had voted for the candidates best positioned to win against the Tories and the election result was a mandate for change in Colchester.

Cllr King said: “If confirmed as the new Head of Council, I will ensure that we help the most vulnerable in this cost of living crisis. We will support those who help others, like our local food banks. We will do everything possible to restore confidence in politics. Ensuring that we can do what we promise while continuing to deliver award-winning services across the borough. »

Councilor Adam Fox (Labour, Old Heath and The Hythe) said: “It will be a new administration with new priorities for Colchester. We have new people with new ideas to tackle residents’ biggest challenges. We will respond to the needs of local people on the cost of living crisis, the environment and supporting our local economy.

Councilor Steph Nissen (Green, Castle) said: “We hope that by working together we can begin to rebuild trust in British politics by engaging in a smoother, more mature collaboration that places the needs of our communities in the foreground and responds more to the climate and ecological emergency”.

The Lib Dems now have 14 council seats, while Labor has 13 and the Greens have 3, taking 30 seats in total. The Tories formed their own joint administration with the Highwoods Group after the 2021 election but suffered losses to the Liberal Democrats and Greens this year, with former Tory council leader Paul Dundas losing his Stanway seat.

There will be an annual meeting of the full council next week (May 25) to appoint a new head of council, mayor and cabinet members.