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Triumphant Tories in housing pledge

A FULL review of plans to build housing estates on green belt land has been pledged by Solihull’s new Conservative administration.

A FULL review of plans to build housing estates on green belt land has been pledged by Solihull’s new Conservative administration.

The Tories, who wrestled back control of Solihull Council last week with a landslide victory, promised they’ll go back to the drawing board with the unpopular proposals.

Conservative leader, Councillor Ken Meeson, said that looking at the controversial issue would be one of his first priorities.

“We want a proper discussion with communities to decide the scale and location of housing development,” he said.

“Over the last year the Lib-Lab group has moved forward with housing targets, which we now want to review.”

The Tories regained an overall majority after the ruling Lib Dem/Labour group suffered heavily in the local elections.

The Conservatives won four seats off the Lib Dems, while the Greens took two from Labour - group leader Mick Corser being among those ousted.

Blaming the collapse in support on unpopular national policies, the Lib Dems were defeated in Silhill, Blythe and two wards in their Shirley stronghold.

The Conservatives, who were forced into opposition last year, now have their strongest majority since boundary changes seven-years-ago.

A third of seats had been up for grabs, with results announced at North Solihull Sports Centre last Friday.

Coun Ian Hedley, Lib Dem leader, defended his party’s record, arguing that local councillors had been punished for issues like tuition fees.

Speaking at the count, he said he wanted to continue to lead his group and provide a “strong opposition”.

“We’re obviously disappointed, but we’re not down-hearted, we will pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off,” he said.

“I think we achieved a lot in our 12 months running this council and there’s a lot we should be proud of.

“We passed a budget backed by all three parties, we froze council tax and we have avoided compulsory redundancies.”

The make-up of Solihull Council is now: Conservative 29 (+6), Lib Dems 12 (-4), Labour 6 (-2), Greens 3 (+1), Ind Lib Dem 1.

 

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