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Lib-Lab pact to run Worcester could last, says leader
A DEAL between Labour and the Liberal Democrats to run Worcester City Council could become a long-term prospect, it has emerged.
He also says if Labour grabs overall control, he would still be prepared to work with the Lib Dems in some form.
The news has been blasted by the opposition Conservative group, which has poked fun at the stance by describing them as “one party”.
Coun Gregson said: “When we made an agreement with the Lib Dems the principle of it was transparency and honesty.
“There is a clear commitment between us to work together to achieve common goals for the good of the city.
“One thing I wanted to do was take the politics out of it and even if we get an overall majority that dialogue will go on.”
He also said there is “no reason to believe” the deal, which was struck last May, won’t be a longer one.
Under the agreement, a Labour-led cabinet was formed containing Lib Dem group leader Councillor Liz Smith.
Coun Smith rejected a possible £5,985 allowance to do it for free, and has been given no job title, which means she is free to spread her interest across all areas of decision making.
Her decision not only ended 13 years of Tory rule - it came one year after her two-strong group sided with the Conservatives.
She said: “With the Conservatives all I ever did was speak to Simon (Geraghty, former Tory council leader) - it was purely that relationship which sustained the old agreement there.
“Adrian’s cabinet is much more collective and broadly speaking, it’s better for us - things seem to be going well and I’m glad the administration is finding its feet.
“It’s not necessarily much easier for me, because if I don’t talk to people regularly enough I don’t know what’s going on, but generally it is better.”
Councillor Marc Bayliss, Conservative group deputy leader, said: “The Lib Dems and Labour are interchangeable in Worcester - it’s one party.
“If the people of Claines don’t want a Labour administration there’s only one way of getting that change.”
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