Wolverhampton City Council chaos as coalition fails

Chaos was today gripping Wolverhampton City Council following the dramatic collapse of the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition.

Wolverhampton Civic Offices
Wolverhampton Civic Offices

Chaos was today gripping Wolverhampton City Council following the dramatic collapse of the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition.

The Lib Dems have withdrawn support for the administration led by the Tories' Neville Patten. But today there was confusion over who is actually in charge, as no party has an outright majority in a chamber of 30 Labour members, 25 Tories and five Lib-Dems.

In-fighting has also broken out among Lib Dems over whether they should have abandoned the coalition.

Party chiefs are now meeting with their councillors to decide their next move.

The disarray comes after Lib Dem schools boss Councillor Claire Darke pulled out of the coalition on Friday afternoon, saying it was "morally wrong" to keep it in power following a by-election defeat in Bilston in July.

Senior Lib Dem councillors like mayor Malcolm Gwinnett and group leader Mike Heap were not happy about pulling out.

The balance of power has been on a knife edge ever since as Labour has the same number of councillors as the ruling coalition.

Labour is now considering trying to oust Lib Dem mayor Councillor Malcolm Gwinnett, who has the casting vote in the event of a deadlock. Getting rid of him would mean his Labour deputy Bert Turner would take over and would give the casting vote to the opposition.

Labour leader Roger Lawrence said today: "The sensible thing is for the Tories to review their position and decide whether they can continue."

By Daniel Wainwright

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Comments for: "Wolverhampton City Council chaos as coalition fails "

Norrie Brax

Good news. Now throw them out like a dog in the night. Nothing is too bad for this unholy alliance. Pity conscience did not hit the said Cllr when it came to closing Underhill House. Still better late than never.

Sadly people have short memories. Whenever the Tories have somehow manged to sieze the reins in Wolverhampton they have always made things worse for joe Public whilst at the same time looking after their own.

I wonder has Wolverhampton started what may well become the national scene here? Hope it becomes a case of good riddance to bad rubbish, never darken our doorsteps again - now go and for God's sake Go Now!


Norrie Brax

Anybody but Labour Scum is fine by me !

Walk down Dudley Street on a Saturday afternoon. You will not believe you are in England. Its a multi-cultural hell-hole of a city and its a ticking time bomb

ste p

No it is not!

and what has that got to do with council coalition collapsing anyway?


Yes it is. Lib/Lab/Con. All snake oil salesmen. All as corrupt as each other. Hope more councils and the Govt collapse too... Tick Tick Tick


The only sensible option is to have by-election for all 60 seats with the party with the biggest majority taking control.

Or is that too simple? not if you have an ounce of common-sense!

Connor Davies

That would cost a lot of money for no reason.

The matter is not which councillors are in post (a cause for a by-election) but how those councillors align themselves to form a ruling administration.

If Labour has 30 councillors, and the Tories and Lib Dems can't work together, then that means Labour should be invited to take over. There's no need for any new elections.


Yes, but if they are threatened with the possibility of a by-election and losing their precious seat, they may just realise what they are going to lose and grow up. Thus reaching an amicable agreement of shared responsibilty.

At the end of the day, the councillors represent their constituents and not their own interests. They should realise this and stop their petty, childish squabbles.


Well put Woody, you make a lot of sense. If the politicians would listen to what you say then there is hope. It may be too much to hope for though.

Blue? Blue who?

Well done Bilston. Labour has made your lovely town what it looks like today, a hole. If Labour take control they will drag Wolverhampton back down like they have done previously.Roger Lawrence could not organise a drinks party at Banks's. Norrie Brax you know nothing.

Blocksidge Mon

Bilston, a hole???

Bilston is a bostin place with its historic town centre full of independent and unique shops based around its traditional market. Some amazing buildings too, the restoration scheme around the Church and Town Hall has really brought out its historic character.

For a medium sized town it punches well over its weight in terms of arts and culture with the Gazebo theatre, the Robin 2, Bilston Gallery, the White Rose, The Trumpet...

Compare Bilston to Willenhall, degenerated by the philistine Walsall Council, or Wednesbury, run down by Sandwell.

Can Walsall apply to be taken into Wolves?

There is more going on in Bilston than Walsall and Sandwell put together!


BILSTON - The Robin2 - A great venue which does actually market as Wolverhampton. The Trumpet - great little jazz pub which I have frequented many times and passed the pot round. More murders than other small cities in the last 18 months. I agree a hole.


Excuse me, I live in Bilston and I don't think it's a hole. There are many worse places to live in Wolverhampton.

Bring it on

I can see the cost saving opportunity right there in that photo.

That monolith of a building, how many staff!!!!!!


Connor Davies

I know! All those street cleaners, teachers, classroom assistants, planners, pollution control officers, environmental health officers, arborial officers, business support staff, social workers, child protection workers, park managers, leisure centre staff.

Pah, as if we need any of those. Let's all go back to the Victorian times where if you were poor, you could jolly well rot in a damp and mouldy cellar.


I actually agree with Connor for a change.

Will Barrow

Connor.. You speak allot of sense.

all we need is a national campain, on the Sun Newspaper, where by if you makje a mess you tidy it up!.. no need for cleaners any where..

I support your views!

Wayne Evans

Or alternatively the overpaid middle-managers and their back office assistants with non-jobs in departments that Labour created to waste a chunk of money!

How about the union office and staff based in the Civic Centre that costs taypayers over £250,000 each and every year. My personal view is that this should be funded by the union members, not by me, my family, my friends, their family etc. You get the picture.

But Labour think this is acceptable and why is that? Ah yes because the unions fund the Labour Party.

With that in mind, every taxpayer in Wolverhampton is therefore funding the Labour Party even though they may never ever contemplate voting Labour.

I wonder how many residents actually knew this!

mavis riley

watch that space hard times are coming

janet charles

Ayup Connor, If yo now so much why do ya get up there an sort em out.


Bit of a Hobson's choice here, after 13 yrs of Labour we are seeing the inevitable result, a bankrupt country. Now what do we want in W/ton ? Labour ? Duh!!

Grey Wolf

The global recession was caused by American mortgage lenders giving vast loans to people who couldn't afford them. Those sub-prime loans were then passed on around the world wherever risk-taking was allowed by slack regulation. Then defaulting started, and we had financial chaos - except in countries where banking regulation prevented excessive speculation.

The UK was hard-hit because our banks had successfully campaigned against regulation - a simple fact that Gordon Brown acknowledged was his biggest mistake.

So. You are absolutely correct that New Labour should be held responsible. But who was originally responsible for the policy of deregulation which New Labour failed to reverse ? Step forward - the Tories.

Rob H

Actually Underhill House was in need of money spending on it.

That old lady was happy in her new home...no-one seemed to give to hoots about her...even her son. He seemed to use it for political point scoring...well that was wrong and a waste of time!

The Tories do well. Can comment explain the £5million pound hole labour left when last in charge? Thought not!




lets have a city wide election and then that way who ever wins has been voted in fair and square,how ever if it still comes down to tie result then lets have somebody who has no ties to all parties have the casting vote(not the mayor)perhaps a council tenant.


There's an election in May. Don't need city wide, just need some councillors to be up for re-election. As they will be.

How is a casting vote from someone with no ties to parties democratic? Say what you like about councillors, at least they get elected by some voters.

Black Triangle Campaign

Grow up councillors you are there to represent us not your parties, it doesnt matter who has the deciding vote do what is best for the people of Wolverhampton or find yourselves new jobs next time the polls come round. We will make sure the people remember who does a good job for Wolverhampton and who does a job for themselves or their party.... it is the people who matter not politics!!



What about the waste of money spent on posting newsletters trumpeting what a marvellous council we have - and that goes for whichever party is in power. Then the surveys for your opinion on Wolverhampton Homes. Most went in the bin once received so a letter went to the same addresses saying 'not to worry if you missed out' and sent the darn surveys out again.

It would be less of an expense to rent an empty retail unit and hand out surveys to those interested. Not many takers, I'll bet.

Olde Bilstonian

I'm Bilston born and bred (it's a town in itself, it's not part of Wolverhampton) and it's not the same place I grew up in. Shootings, all except one, were due to the Tropical Harmony Caribbean club, which took AGES for the Police to close down. Labour has ruined the place, along with the country. All the old school, die-hard Labour voters need to wake up, Labour ain't interested in the working man any more. They're all the same but I wouldn't trust Labour with my sons dinner money.


I have read all the blogs. From what i can gather, In the last 2 years Wolverhampton council has had to save 20 million pound from its budgets and thats not including the 5 million pound that the coallition in wolverhampton had to find staright away to balance the books. 2 years ago the councils finances were in chaos. without cutting major services cutting the waste and non jobs at the council the majority of this money was saved and there was no council tax increase this year, and you never know we might not get one next year. Going onto the problems at the council now, i feel its not right for 1 councillor who whole heartdley agreed to go with the coallition and fully supported it can now bring the council into chaos. Claire Darke should be ashamed of herself, she moaned in the paper that 1 of the reason was that her office was a broom cupboard without windows, is that a valid rason to pull out of an agreement which seemed to be working well for the people. I have met Roger lawrence a few time s and i have to say he is arrogant and egotistical. I feel its his fault that wolverhampton was in this finacial mess in the first place. Now Mr Roger Lawenrce is talking about ousting the Mayor. Whats his game plan because from where im standing its all about him and his status and money, not about the people and getting Wolverhampton back on track its about a vendetta he needs to keep going.