Independents talking to both Conservatives and Labour about forming coalition to run Council

Craig Browne  Deputy Leader email

The Independent Group at Cheshire East Council are currently in talks with both the Labour and Conservative Groups regarding partnering with them to run the Council.

Following the local elections on May 4th, non of the political groups gained overall control, as the number of seats required to form a majority is 42 (half of the Council, plus one).

Across the borough, the election results delivered the following group positions were (compared to the 2019 election results):

  • Conservative 33 (-1)
  • Labour 31 (+6)
  • Independent 14 (-3)
  • Liberal Democrat 2 (-2)
  • non-grouped 2 (n/c)

Councillor Craig Browne was re-elected as Group Leader of the Independent Group at their Annual General Meeting on Monday, 8th May. Additionally, Councillor Mark Goldsmith (Wilmslow West and Chorley) and Councillor Lata Anderson as Group Administrator (Wilmslow Dean Row Ward).

Since the election the Independent Group has gained five new councillors (Cllr Chris Hilliard, Wilmslow Lacey Green; Cllr Emma Gilman, Macclesfield Tytherington; Cllr Nicola Cook, Sandbach Elworth; Cllr Garnet Marshall, Middlewich; Cllr John Bird, Middlewich).

Councillor Craig Browne said "It has been a significant election in terms of the makeup of Cheshire East Council, with 38 out of the 82 councillors being newly elected."

He added "None of the political groups is able to form a majority without working with the Independents and therefore I am currently engaged in discussions with the Leaders of both the Conservative Group and the Labour Group, with a view to forming a joint administration.

"I would expect to be able to provide an update on these discussions over the course of the next few days."



Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Pete Taylor
Thursday 11th May 2023 at 1:52 pm
Take each decision on its merits; don’t jump into bed with either party.
David Jefferay
Thursday 11th May 2023 at 3:59 pm
To clarify the situation, there are five options for the council depending on what we as the independent group do.
1) Minority Conservative administration
2) Minority Labour administration
3) Labour and Conservative coalition - will not happen.
4) Labour and Independents administration
5) Conservative and Labour administration.

With options 1 and 2, the Independents could vote for or against proposals on a case by case basis but would have no influence on council activities beyond that. With options 4 and 5, Independents would hold key positions of influence and be in a position to positively form policies allowing us to get a better deal for wilmslow's residents as well as limiting the excesses that both sides are known for (in any joint administration, the Independents remain independent and are not bound to support the other party in any vote, consequently proposals which are not supported by the majority of the Independents rarely progress).
The question is would we be in a better position to help wilmslow's residents if we were in "government" or in opposition?
With regards to whether we should go with Labour or the Conservatives, I have no ideological preference and when it comes to the decision, I will be voting for the side who offers the greatest potential to help Wilmslow's residents.
Roger Bagguley
Friday 12th May 2023 at 7:20 am
Not an easy decision. We trust the final outcome will maximise Independent influence upon policy making and actions bringing the best possible for Wilmslow.
Simon Rodrigues
Wednesday 17th May 2023 at 4:35 pm
Well lets be clear, people are wise to the nonsense that goes on we are sick of excuses and lack of professionalism and transparency.