“POSITIVE discussions” on the future of Colchester Council’s ruling coalition have taken place, with hopes other groups can be persuaded to bolster its ranks.

After Thursday’s election the Lib Dem and Labour coalition was left with 23 seats between them, one less than they started out the night with.

However, after the Conservatives failed to secure a majority, now also holding 23 seats, leader of the council and Lib Dem Mark Cory said discussions were ongoing to form a renewed progressive alliance.

He said: “It is interesting to see how the Conservatives have made gains across the country and across Essex but not in Colchester.

“We want to continue with progressive politics in Colchester and see what we can do to continue the really good work we have started.

“We are having positive discussion with renewed energy.

“There are lots of things to think through and I am not rushing anybody. I am confident we will have an agreement in place before the annual meeting.”

Mr Cory said he hoped the Green party, which now has two councillors, and the Highwoods Independents, who hold three, could be persuaded to join the alliance.

This would strengthen the coalition and mean it would hold 28 of 51 seats.

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Colchester Labour Group has also selected a new leader over the weekend.

Council housing boss Adam Fox is taking on the role from Tina Bourne.

He said: “I am delighted to have been selected by the Colchester Labour Group to be the new group leader.

“ We will be continuing our fight for a fairer Colchester. The election results show we are best placed to take the fight to the Tories locally.”