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KIRKLEES PARTIES HOPE TO HAMMER OUT POWER-SHARING DEAL

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A combination of Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Green party members is expected to take over the runnin...
A combination of Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Green party members is expected to take over the running of Kirklees MBC, according to The Yorkshire Post (p8).

Lib Dem leader Kath Pinnock at first refused to join what was termed a 'shared administration' but it now looks as it she has had a rethink. Her party emerged as the largest group on the council after the elections earlier this month. But they had no overall majority, leaving the Conservatives holding the balance of power.

The Tories turned down offers a pact from other parties, apparently handing power to the Lib Dems, but a dramatic council meeting saw them do a sudden about-turn as they took sides with Labour.

The pact left the council without a leader because an unusual standing order demanded that the leader of the council should also be the leader of the largest political party.

After 10 days of political uncertainty, Ms Pinnock issued a statement yesterday saying: 'We cannot allow the council to flounder around with the present unacceptable working arrangements.

'I am seeking early discussions with other party leaders with the purpose of achieving an agreed settlement.'

She said the parties would have to agree a policy platform and essential ground rules before she would lead the Lib Dems into a joint administration.

An agreement would see the council's committee chairs appointed according to each party's share of council seats: Lib Dem 29, Labour 25, Conservative 15, Green 3.

The chief executive will continue to act as formal leader until the next full council meeting on 12 July.

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