Last week, the Annual Meeting of Cherwell District Council was adjourned with no political administration having been formed. Liberal Democrat Councillors argued that more time was needed for them to broker a deal with Labour members but both parties have now confirmed that they have failed to reach a workable agreement to run the Council ahead of the adjourned meeting due to take place tonight, 23 May.
Cherwell Conservatives have released the following statement in light of this news:
“Tonight, Cherwell District Councillors will meet for the second time to determine the political leadership of the Council. This meeting is vital for the future of North Oxfordshire.
Labour and Liberal Democrat Councillors have confirmed that talks between them have broken down after weeks of negotiations and that no agreement to run the Council has been reached.
Custom and practice dictate that the largest party in such situations should run the Council under a minority administration. Last week, we proposed that this important convention be respected when it became clear that Labour, Lib Dem and Green Councillors were unable to provide the Council with stable leadership. Unfortunately, this entirely normal move was blocked by other parties, who argued that more time was needed to broker a deal between them.
Time has failed to produce a working agreement between the other parties. What cannot now happen is a repeat of last week’s circus with Labour, Lib Dem and Green Councillors blocking the path to restoring democratic leadership to the Council without proposing a working alternative.
Conservative Councillors stand ready to serve residents, supported by a majority of the Council’s Independent Councillors. We will therefore propose that the Council moves forward under a minority Conservative administration, consulting Councillors of all parties and none on all major policy decisions affecting residents until the next set of elections to Cherwell District Council is held on 2 May 2024.”