Three-party coalition talks held in Hart

Basingstoke Gazette: Three-party coalition talks held in Hart Three-party coalition talks held in Hart

A RAINBOW coalition could be the way ahead for Hart District Council as talks continue about who will run the local authority following the May elections.

The three political parties in Hart – the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and Community Campaign Hart – held a meeting last Sunday to discuss the make-up of the council.

The election night left the council without one single group or party in overall control, with the Conservatives, who had run the council as a minority administration, losing two seats.

They are still the largest single party, with 14 councillors, followed by the Liberal Democrats and Community Campaign Hart, both with nine, and one Independent.

Councillor Ken Crookes, the leader of the previous administration, told The Gazette that councillors favour having a Cabinet made up from all three political parties.

He said: “That’s the general direction we are heading in but it’s by no means clear we are going to achieve that. We have got the detail to sort out in terms of how many members there are (in Cabinet) and what roles there are.”

He said he had been asked to be leader again, and that more talks would take place this week.

A decision on how the council will be run must be made by Thursday, June 12 – the date of Hart’s annual meeting.

As reported in The Gazette, Jonathan Glen, who was Hart’s Cabinet member for the environment, was one of the two Conservatives to lose their seats.

He lost out in the Hook ward to Independent candidate Robert Leeson, a 58-year-old father-of-two from Garden Close, who campaigned against large-scale housing development in the village.

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