Following the local elections earlier this month, Labour and the Liberal Democrats ended up in a dead heat, each having 26 of the 63 seats on the council, with a small number of Conservative and Independent Ratepayer councillors holding the balance of power.
During the past week there have been intensive negotiations between the Groups which have ended up with agreement that Labour will continue as a minority administration, with no formal support from any other Group, and the Liberal Democrats will remain the main opposition and Chair all five of the Council’s Scrutiny Committees to hold Labour to account.
Speaking after the negotiations had completed, Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Stockport Council, said: “We were delighted to make such great progress at the local elections. We conceded that Labour could form the administration for a further year but the Group Leaders had to acknowledge that a dead heat between the main Groups plus a shrinking Conservative Group meant the Lib Dems should control Scrutiny. We will continue to work constructively at the town hall but we will be holding the minority Labour administration to account.”
Deputy Leader, Cllr Lisa Smart, added: “The outcome reflects the political reality of the number of councillors each Group has plus Labour having the mayor’s casting vote for the year ahead. We are looking forward to a very interesting year ahead.”