May 9, 2023 6.00 pm This story is over 10 months old

Conservatives hoping to keep East Lindsey control despite Independent influx

A minority administration will be formed

East Lindsey District Council’s Conservative leader is confident his party will continue to lead after an independent influx last week.

The party has taken 26 of the seats available in the district, down from the 31 it held before the poll – a total of 47.27%.

Meanwhile, Independent councillor numbers doubled from eight before the election to 16.

Despite the changes, Conservative leader Councillor Craig Leyland said he was “confident” Conservatives would lead the council, but added, “in the short-term, it will be a minority administration.”

It is understood an agreement has been reached with Liberal Democrat councillors.

Final confirmation will take place later this month.

Councillor Leyland said his party was “still very much engaged with delivering our levelling up programme” and there was more work and further government funding.

Councillor Craig Leyland

The authority will also look to renew its partnership with Boston Borough and South Holland, especially after the Boston administration fell to independents.

Councillor Leyland said, “We’ll hopefully keep those energetic and ambitious plans for the districts in the partnership, though we’re waiting to see how the Boston administration forms.

“We look forward to speaking to their leadership when it’s appropriate.”

Regarding the Theddlethorpe Geological Disposal Facility, Councillor Leyland said, “The leadership would be open to discussions” it, following a backlash from residents.

Councillor Leyland acknowledged that some of his party’s losses were due to the national situation.

“We’ll have our eyes and ears open to those messages as the council establishes itself and moves forward,” he said.

Labour group leader Councillor Ros Jackson.

Labour group leader, Councillor Ros Jackson, said the Conservative party’s control was “severely diminished.”

She added: “Negotiations are ongoing between Labour and other opposition leaders about how we can best put into practice our respective agendas.”

She stated that the Labour group would be working to further their manifesto aims, and that “fresh perspectives on the council will enable it to take a new direction in many ways”.

Independent group leader Councillor Jill Makinson-Sanders

Leader of the Independent Group, Councillor Jill Makinson-Sanders, said it meant “more of the same” for the authority which was “clearly not what the electorate voted for.”

She added: “We will continue to be a strong opposition and hold Councillor Leyland to account….it will be interesting.”

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