The Liberal Democrats are gearing up to take over West Lindsey District Council after securing the support of at least one Independent councillor.
In the recent local elections, the party won a record 18 seats across the district, reducing the number of Conservative seats from 16 to 14.
For a party to have overall control of West Lindsey District Council, it must have 19 seats (more than 50%). This is determined by each council based on the size of the district.
This meant that the balance of power was in the hands of the four Independent and Lincolnshire Independent councillors in Hemswell, Gainsborough North, Cherry Willingham and Dunholme & Welton.
The Tories would have needed to secure all four seats to retain control, but Liberal Democrat leader Trevor Young has confirmed that at least one Independent has already aligned with them.
He said: “Following last week’s local elections, we strongly feel that we have the mandate to take over the council.
“We already have the support of one Independent and we’re in the process of formalising that.
“Clearly the Tories haven’t got the numbers to take control and so the message is clear. It’s time for a change.”
Villages such as Stow, Sudbrooke and Lea were among the seats won by the Liberal Democrats in the election.
Councillor Jackie Brockway (Conservative) sparked rumours of the change in the leadership during a Lincolnshire County Council meeting on Tuesday.
While speaking in the chamber, she said: “The administration has changed, it’s now a Lib Dem administration.”
After the meeting, she clarified that nothing was official but she felt that at least one Independent councillor would align with the Lib Dems, giving them the majority.
“This is just my opinion, but I think there will be one that will go with the Lib Dems and the other three we just don’t know,” continued the district councillor for Saxilby.
“I know that two of them have worked very well with us previously and the third one is a new person.”
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