Wales politics

Anglesey council: Labour-independent coalition deal announced

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Media captionThe battle to run Anglesey council took another twist

The Labour group on Anglesey council is forming a coalition with independents and a Liberal Democrat councillor to run the authority.

Last week's election left the authority with no overall control.

Labour, which has three councillors, said it would "work hard" with the 14 independents for the people of Ynys Mon.

Plaid Cymru is the largest party, with 12 of the 30 councillors, and had hoped to form its own coalition with Labour.

Labour group leader Arwel Roberts said: "We have been assured by the independent group that they intend to stay as a coherent and disciplined unit.

"We as the Labour group are willing to support and work with them to maintain a partnership that will work hard on behalf of the people of Ynys Mon."

'Challenging times'

Independent councillors elected last week met on Tuesday and said they would join forces to set up a new alliance under the leadership of the Lligwy ward councillor Ieuan Williams, who is expected to become the new leader of the council.

Mr Williams said Liberal Democrat councillor Aled Morris Jones had also signed up to the coalition deal.

"The philosophy is hard work," Mr Williams said.

"We are facing challenging times, we've got to put our heads down, we've got to be creative.

"We've got to find solutions to make sure that the services we deliver don't suffer," he added.

The Minister for Local Government and Government Business, Lesley Griffiths, said she hoped last week's elections would now prove to be a turning point, adding that the people of Anglesey deserved no less.

"I wish the new leadership of the council well in their task to deliver stable, transparent and accountable local government on the island, in the years ahead," Ms Griffiths said.

In a joint statement, the leader of the council's Plaid Cymru group, Bob Parry, and the Plaid Anglesey assembly member, Ieuan Wyn Jones, said the party was "naturally disappointed" that Labour had done a deal with the independents but wished the new administration well.

"They will be judged by their performance with regards to care services, education, services for the elderly and vulnerable and other vital services provided on a local level.

"The Plaid Cymru group on the council... will hold the new administration to account and the electorate can be sure that we will always seek to ensure the best for the people of the island.

"Our view is that Anglesey needs a stable administration to ensure that the island retains its own identity as a separate council.

"The independent-led administration needs to demonstrate that it is up to the task, something previous independent groups have failed to do," the statement concluded.

Bitter splits

Anglesey was the only Welsh council to hold an election last week, after being delayed by a year.

It followed the appointment by the Welsh government of commissioners to run the council in 2011 after bitter splits between independent councillors.

Some of those commissioners will remain in place until at least the end of this month.

In February, the then Local Government Minister Carl Sargeant said full control would be handed back to the authority only when a stable administration was in place.

  • Correction 17 May 2013: This report has been amended to remove the suggestion made by Labour that independents had won the highest proportion of the vote. In fact, although Plaid Cymru won fewer seats, the published figures indicate the party received the most votes. It is possible that due to rounding up or down of the different types of independent candidates on the ballot paper, the total independent figure could be higher but the BBC has been unable to obtain a more accurate figure for the total independent share.

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