Council left on brink as school boss breaks ranks

The ruling Tory-Liberal Democrat coalition of Wolverhampton City Council was today on the brink of collapse after the city's schools boss withdrew her support.

The ruling Tory-Liberal Democrat coalition of Wolverhampton City Council was today on the brink of collapse after the city's schools boss withdrew her support.

Lib Dem councillor Claire Darke said she could no longer go along with keeping the parties in power after a by-election left the city with 30 councillors on each side.

The nature of numbers - 30 Labour, 25 Tories and five Lib Dems - means an abstention by a member of the controlling group would allow Labour to take control. If votes are tied, the casting vote of Mayor Malcolm Gwinnett, a Lib Dem, carries in favour of the coalition.

Councillor Darke, cabinet member for schools who who represents Park ward, said: "It is not only politically wrong, but morally wrong, to keep in power a coalition rejected by the majority of the electorate in Wolverhampton. The by-election in Bilston in July meant that Labour now has the electorate's support."

Disappointed Tory leader Councillor Neville Patten said today: "This has come as a surprise. I don't know where we go from here."

Labour leader Roger Law-rence said: "We've had indication some Lib Dems wan- ted to talk to us, but not all."

Councillor Gwinnett said he was seeking a legal ruling to ascertain whether Councillor Darke's party whip requires her to support the coalition.

Comments for: "Council left on brink as school boss breaks ranks"

Connor Davies

Further proof that the Lib Dems stand for nothing.

If they can jump from one bed to another, what does that mean they support?

What do the Lib Dems mean?

Lib Dem voters - your vote is meaningless. If you believe in protecting public services, investment to create jobs and stimulate enterprise, and the promotion of social, economic and environmental justice then you should vote Green.

Mark Smith

The Lib Dems are pretty pointless yes but it's better to waste a vote on the pointless than waste it on a bunch of old hippies with a narrow minded and unrealistic agenda. Don't forget everyone, this is the party that wants to give votes to 16 year old children, that's because the kiddies will all vote Green. Good grief!!


Bravo the greens are nothing but a bunch of idiots who no nothing

Ricky Roberts

Welcome to the new politics. Do you think with the rise of single issue parties such as the Greens, UKIP and BNP that we will continue to have Labour or Conservative governments and council majorities?

All parties are "centre" now (be it centre-right or centre-left), which has led to fragmentation and coalition governments in Europe - that's where we're going.

If the Greens were able to demand concessions, wouldn't they? If they had an offer of being involved in a coalition, would they reject it? I doubt it.

Rob H

Labour running Wolves council? NO NO NO!!!!

They left a £5million black hole in the accounts last time. NO NO NO!!!!

Whoever voted for these incompetent labour councillors should be ashamed and apologize to the decent people of Wolverhampton.


Perhaps this is politics with some sense at last. After all what sense was there putting a coalition into power anyway in the first place. That includes our governemnt as well.


lets have a election and get the council sorted out.but i have a feeling the other lot will just take control and make a mess of wolverhampton againand not let the voters have say.


What does it say for Wolverhampton and its people as a whole that the Labour party, who trashed the council's finances and oversaw more than a decade of waste and unproductive spending manage to re-elect the most (30) councillors!

It says that we are turning into a dump just like Sandwell. Sandwell has been a safe Labour area for decades and is one of the dirtiest most unpleasant boroughs in the country.

Is that people want for Wolverhampton? More waste, more socialism, less investment and less opportunity?

What a shame for a city with so much potenital and with such a proud working history that we now aspire to be a city of redistribution and handouts.

We used to be leaders in bicycle, motorbike and car manufacture. Sunbeam cars held the world(!) land speed record.

Graiseley and Blakenhall used to thrive.

How about Wolverhampton rediscover a bit of entrepreneurial spirit rather than the current defeatist attitude of victimisation and hoping for Labour handouts?


It says that the people still dont like or trust the Tory's and with just cause.They woulfd rather stick to a party that Yes does cause financial damage but limits the damage done to the working people..Unlike the Tory's who love to cut back and cause hardship to working famillies. they have a track record of this second to none.

And you think the Tories will invest??? No chance at all They havnt invested in anything even in their years of power in the 80's. They sell and reap. They dont sow and grow anything. They dont have the ability.

The world changed. Thats what hit Wolverhampton and cities like it. Not one Governemnt responsible for the decline in industry, but all of them over a period of time together with cheaper products from abroad. The Tory's sold everything off. So how an you expect them to invest in Wolverhampton??


The conservative party were in power and oversaw the development of almost the entire motorway network.

A network that allowed businesses to develop and one that remains free. It was an enormous project.

That said, my mention of investment was more that, the aim of the Tories should be to create an environment in which business and investment thrive. So to create a good infrastructure from which business can do the rest.

Good communications, good transport, a competitive, simple tax system, less regulatory red tape etc.

Government no longer has any money, so there's actually no choice.

Yes Wolverhampton was hit because the world changed, but certain 'Labour' areas like the NE, Manchester, Liverpool, South Wales were looked after with tens of billions of investment in public sector jobs.

Wolverhampton meanwhile was left to rot.


Yes and then sold most of the transport sytem down the road like the railways who are now suffering from lack of maintenance because share holders rule.

Tory's very rarely invest unless it benefits themselves and the rich David.The cut cut and cut thats how they work. Its how they worked in the thatcher years and sold everything off. If Labours looked after the north then why not Wolverhampton? Can't be a bad party then if the they have suucceeded in other areas of our country.


Apologise for voting Labour... errrr, no, sorry!

But I do apologise for ever voting LibDem at any time.... locally or nationally.



You should apologise though really. You helped vote in a party that recklessly spent taxpayers' money on pet projects and oversaw the greatest build up of debt this country has ever seen.

Labour then scarpered out of office and left somebody else to try and deal with the problem.

Remember Liam Byrne's little note? "There's no money left".

It wasn't a joke. Labour wasted it all.


Labour didn't scarper. They fought up untill the end. They could probably have won again had they changed their leader Mr Brown. They ran up debts yes. But so had every other country in the world.Answer that one then? Read the comment below. It sayds it all The people of Wolverhampton still feel Labour is better than the shower whop are in . Same as the general population who didn't give The Tory's an all out majority. Not a party to be trusted when it comes to the lower paid classes in our society. perhaps things are coming full circle and the ame will happen with cleggy and Cameron.Lets hope so the sooner the better.

Common Sense

There's an elephant in the room: why has Cllr Darke waited until now to work out how she feels?

Good grief, woman, you've put yourself forward for election, so you must have some confidence in your opinions. Why did you go along with the coalition at the time of the by-election and then wait until now to break it up?

Nobody wins here: the Lib Dems for looking fickle. Labour because they get to wreck the joint again. The Tories because, despite decades of Labour's misrule, the people of Wolverhampton still think they're better than the awful shower that you are.