Labour and Conservative accused of ‘alliance’ after UKIP miss out on positions in Great Yarmouth
PUBLISHED: 21:00 03 June 2014 | UPDATED: 17:21 04 June 2014
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Great Yarmouth’s Labour and Conservative parties were accused of forming an alliance after none of the town’s new UKIP councillors were appointed a seat on a string of community groups.
Kay Grey, UKIP leader, made the claim at the borough council’s first full meeting since last month’s elections, which left no party in overall control.
UKIP - which claimed 10 of the 13 seats available in the local ballot - had nominated councillors to sit on 25pc of the council’s outside bodies, including the Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust, Great Yarmouth in Bloom and the Tourist Authority.
But they were not appointed to any of them after Labour leader Trevor Wainwright’s proposal that the seats go to members from the two major parties was passed.
Mrs Grey said: “We have got 25pc of the councillors and I do feel we have the right to be on some of the outside bodies.
“It’s obvious that the Conservatives and Labour parties have formed some sort of alliance with each other despite claims to the press that they would do what’s best for the borough.
“How can it be best for the borough to block 25pc of elected councillors?”
Mr Wainwright however, refuted any claims of an alliance and said there had been no deals between his party or the Conservatives, adding that historically the positions on outside bodies had always gone to the ruling parties.
Labour have 15 seats on the council, while the Conservatives have 14.
Graham Plant, Conservative leader, said there would always be a difference between his party and Labour but in the case of outside bodies, the two groups had voted for the “most experienced councillors”.
He added that as UKIP “develop over the year” he was sure they would have a chance to sit on outside bodies in the future.
During tonight’s meeting councillors also appointed committee members and chairman, as well as the authority’s new leader and deputy leader.
Trevor Wainwright was voted to remain as leader while Brian Walker was appointed his deputy.