WORCESTER'S Conservatives have cranked up the pressure over which party controls the city council - by producing demands of their own.
The Tory leadership is preparing to hand Worcester's lone Green Councillor Neil Laurenson their own 'wish list', effectively turning the tables on the other parties embroiled in the power struggle.
The Conservatives say they ideally want to govern on an agreement that ensures they can get their key policies through, including:
- A council tax freeze next year
- Cuts to car parking charges so they revert back to the old pre-April rates, including 40p for half-an-hour and £1 after 7pm at selected sites
- Reversals in planned cuts to street cleaning, which is due to take an £80,000 hit and play areas, where £10,000 is being slashed
The Tories' pledges they are seeking backing on from either Cllr Laurenson or Cllr Liz Smith, Worcester's single Lib Dem, also includes making a new swimming pool a priority, greenbelt protection and ideas to support businesses.
It comes just 48 hours after Cllr Laurenson handed both the Tories and Labour his own 'wish list' of eight demands.
Aftet last week's local elections, no deal has yet been struck with any party as the limbo stretches into day eight.
Your Worcester News understands Cllr Adrian Gregson, the city's Labour leader, has told Cllr Laurenson he is "more than comfortable" with the Green's demands but needs time to discuss it with council officers.
The Labour group was meeting last night to debate it further, with the potential of a Lab-Green-Lib deal still on the cards.
But as of today the Tories, who have also met with Cllr Laurenson, are also considering his wish list and are aiming to strike a deal of their own.
Councillor Simon Geraghty, Tory group leader, said: "We are seeking to see if we can move forward with an open mind."
Cllr Laurenson, who has yet to commit either way, says any deal would require "Green policies" at the heart of the council.
There are 17 Conservative and 16 Labour councillors at the Guildhall, ahead of the crunch meeting to vote in a new administration this Tuesday, June 3.
The maths means that the Tories only need the support of one other councillor and are in the strongest position of all the parties.