Labour fail in Walsall Council takeover

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Labour have failed in a bid to take control of Walsall Council, despite emerging from last month's election as the biggest single party.

They took their total number of seats to 30 out of the 60 available, while Conservatives and Liberal Democrats both lost seats.

Analysis

The defeat of the Labour motion appears to show that councillors are more concerned with preserving the status quo than bringing about any kind of political change.

Labour says the current arrangement is undemocratic and not what local people want.

The party's expecting to win the by-election, brought about by death of long-time party leader Tim Oliver, but in the meantime it's business as usual for the coalition.

A motion to replace the Conservative leader Mike Bird was defeated on Wednesday night.

It means the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition retains control.

They hold a total of 24 seats, with UKIP and independents holding the remaining six seats.

The death of one Labour councillor, Tim Oliver, shortly after May's elections, coupled with one abstention, meant Labour's motion to take over the authority ended in a stalemate.

The 58 councillors were evenly split on the resolution to replace Mr Bird with Labour's Sean Coughlan.

A by-election for Mr Oliver's seat is due to be held on 24 July and Labour said they would revisit the motion after that.

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