SOLIHULL is true-blue no more, following a dramatic shift of power at the borough’s council house.
On Tuesday night, the Lib Dems confirmed they were joining forces with Labour – ending ten-years of Tory control.
Following the announcement, Conservative leader Ken Meeson accused the Lib Dems of betraying the voters.
The Conservative group had hoped to follow the national example and strike a deal with the Lib Dems, having lost an overall majority.
But Councillor Ian Hedley, the new Leader of Solihull Council, told the Solihull News that his group had found common-ground with Labour.
“It was an agreement on policy, that was the major issue. Top of the agenda for us is engagement with the local community,” he said.
“If you look at what happened in Parliament, we got together with the Conservatives to replace a tired, 13-year administration.
“And in Solihull, the Lib Dems and Labour have replaced an administration that has been in power for ten-years.”
Coun Ken Meeson, who was ousted after three-years in the top job, said it was a “well-planned and executed coup”.
“The Conservatives remain the largest group on this council and at the recent elections, we won more seats and a greater share of the vote than the other parties,” he said.
“We are now forced into the role of the opposition and there we will do our upmost to hold the Lib-Lab group to account.”
Lib Dems now hold seven cabinet posts, Labour two - with Coun Hedley denying that the smaller party were the “puppet masters”.
Labour had strengthened its bargaining-hand after gaining two seats at the local elections.
Between them, the Lib-Lab administration holds 26 seats - the minimum required for an overall majority.
* Meet the new Cabinet - Page 6.
* What do you think of the new political shape of the council? Write to the Solihull News, 150 High Street, Solihull, B91 3SX or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.