Milton Keynes Labour Group and the city’s Liberal Democrats have signed a deal to continue their partnership on MK Council.

Local elections last week saw Labour become the biggest party on the council with 23 councillors. The Liberal Democrats made most gains on the day, winning three seat and now have 15 councillors. The Tories lost 5 and have been reduced to 19 councillors.

Despite the gains, no party has an overall majority.

The deal reached between the parties means that Labour will continue to run the council as a minority administration and the Liberal Democrats will remain an opposition party, but provide a ‘confidence and supply’ arrangement that supports a jointly agreed policy platform and budget.

Cllr Peter Marland, Leader of MK Council, said: “MK Labour Party is now the largest party on MK Council, but the reality is no party can run the council without being grown up and working with others. We have worked with the Liberal Democrats well over the past few years, and the benefit of that is a stable, well-run council.”

Cllrs Pete Marland and Douglas McCall
Cllrs Pete Marland and Douglas McCall

Cllr Douglas McCall, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, said: “As the party that made most gain on the day at the expense of a failing Tory Party, we want to deliver Liberal Democrat policies and priorities, in particular around reducing child poverty and improving public realm services. In exchange for ensuring a stable council we will have our manifesto delivered. It is the right deal for us and for MK, where two thirds of councillors elected by MK residents are either Labour or Lib Dem.”

Cllr Marland concluded: “There are significant areas where we agree with the Lib Dems, like planning growth properly and tackling homelessness, however they continue to be an opposition party providing constructive scrutiny and challenge to our decisions. I think that’s how people want politics to be, getting on with things you agree on and working through issues you don’t.”

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