Lib Dems blame Labour’s National Executive Committee for local alliance talks failure
The Liberal Democrats say that Labour were insisting no Green or Independent Councillors could be included in a coalition
Labour councillors on Cherwell District Council are trying to deflect the blame for coalition talks failing through undignified name-calling – so says the leader of the Liberal Democrat councillors who was involved in the talks.
David Hingley believes that the negotiations stalled, not due to local problems, but because of the involvement of the Labour party’s National Executive Committee, who were unwilling to budge on a number of issues.
He said: “instead of seeking co-operation in the best interests of Cherwell residents, [Labour’s National Executive Committee] have continued to block any deal”.
Last week’s curtailed Cherwell District Council Annual Meeting is set to resume this evening when further attempts will be made to appoint a leader for the Council. The adjournment came after the Progressive Oxfordshire Group of Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent Councillors suggested further time for negotiations with Labour would be beneficial.
Yesterday Labour’s Sean Woodcock announced the talks had again failed and “as a result of [The Liberal Democrats] pettiness, the Conservatives will likely continue to run the council.”
Councillor Woodcock told Banbury FM: “The breakdown in talks is because it became clear locally and nationally that the Liberal Democrats and Greens had done a deal before a single vote had been cast.
“We cannot countenance voters being treated with such contempt so despite moves on our part to compromise, there were red lines that simply could not be crossed.”
The Liberal Democrats say that Labour were insisting no Green or Independent Councillors could be included in a coalition, just Liberal Democrat Councillors. Such a move would be contrary to the stance the party has taken at Oxfordshire County Council and in West Oxfordshire, where Labour is in a cross party-alliance.
Councillor Hingley’s full statement said: “The Liberal Democrats have worked ceaselessly over the past two weeks in an attempt to deliver a stable progressive majority alliance for Cherwell. We had an agreed deal ready to go that was pulled by the Labour party at the eleventh hour, but nonetheless we sought extra time to allow Labour to engage in further discussions.
“As reported in national media, it became clear that the Labour party’s National Executive Committee were unwilling to budge on a number of issues, and that instead of seeking co-operation in the best interests of Cherwell residents, have continued to block any deal. Far from offering concessions, extra demands were added, including that no Green or Independent councillors could be part of the alliance leading the council, meaning a minority administration.
“It is a lost opportunity for the district that instead of seeking to remove the Conservatives from office and engaging in serious discussions, the local Labour party have instead sought to deflect blame through undignified name-calling.
“The Liberal Democrats will continue to act as the serious, credible alternative to the Conservatives and work hard in the best interests of all residents.”
Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam