Express & Star

Labour to make bid for Walsall Council control

Walsall's opposition Labour group will make a bid to take control of the council this week, it has emerged.


The party is planning to put forward a vote of no confidence in the current Tory-Lib Dem coalition at the full council meeting.

They claim there has been 'a year of incompetence, inaction and increasing indifference' in the borough.

But the ruling administration has defended its record as it seeks to maintain power for this year.

Currently, the council has 24 Conservatives, five Liberal Democrats, 28 Labour councillors, one Democratic Labour Party member and two independents.

Labour members will move the motion of no confidence in the coalition at the meeting on Wednesday.

They will highlight the damning report into children services, failure to secure apprentices, nearly 30 per cent of shops being vacant and the uncertain future of the town's Gala Baths.

The decision over the ruling of the authority is due to come down to the independents and Democratic Labour Party member.

Labour group leader Tim Oliver said: "The last year has been a disaster for the people of Walsall as the Conservative-led coalition Government's policies have been implemented by their local councillors.

"Really, it comes down to a vote for or against the people of the borough.

"We will outline the council's failures, the refusal of the Tories and Lib Dems to accept responsibility and their indifference to the impact and consequences of their actions." But council leader Mike Bird defended the council's record in the current financial climate. He said the council was pushing ahead with multi-million pound regeneration plans.

"The Labour group voted against the council funding Primark, which will be the catalyst for the renaissance of Walsall town centre," he said.

"I will be standing up on Wednesday and defending our position.

"Look at the money we have had to save because Labour left this country in such a mess."

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