A Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition will result in higher costs and worse public services for residents, Conservative councillors fear.
A backroom deal has been struck between Labour and the Lib Dems to run South Gloucestershire Council following May’s local elections. This is despite the South Gloucestershire Conservative Group emerging from the elections as the largest party on the Council.
While the results of the elections were announced during the night on Thursday 4 May, it has taken two full weeks for Labour and the Lib Dems to agree to work together, which has further fuelled fears that the coalition administration is set to be a disaster for South Glos.
And with their failure to commit to managing public finances in a responsible way, the Conservatives fear the Labour-Lib Dem coalition will see residents left with ever-increasing costs while Council finances and vital public services will be mismanaged.
Responding to news of the Labour-Lib Dem alliance, Cllr Sam Bromiley, Leader of the Conservative Group on South Gloucestershire Council, said: “We are disappointed that Labour and the Liberal Democrats have chosen to exclude the largest party from all discussions on how to run the Council. On several occasions we have offered to meet to discuss how all residents’ views can be reflected in the new Council, but each time this was met by silence.
“This agreement represents the worst of all worlds for South Glos. It is an unstable coalition between two parties neither of which has the best interests of residents in mind and both of which have a track record of poor decision making.
“While Labour and the Lib Dems have been locked away from the public making these secret backroom deals, we have been out speaking to residents about the issues that matter to them.
“We will work hard to ensure we don’t see our residents’ council tax pumped into Labour-run Bristol to prop up their buses while our local services are cancelled by the Labour WECA Mayor. The coalition must also be focussed on protecting our Green Belt and precious green spaces, maintaining our record recycling rates and continue our achievement of improving school standards.”
Since 2019, the Conservative administration has kept car parking free across South Glos, boosted education to record levels, hit record recycling rates and invested huge sums in maintaining the road network. They have introduced an innovative soft plastic recycling scheme, took action to tackle the climate crisis and protected the Green Belt from inappropriate development.