It seems we Greens are going to hold the balance of power.
On the one hand Lab 22 Cllrs ; on the other a coalition reflecting the national one Con 16 + LD 5 with 1 ex LD = 22. Evenly balanced.
This leaves 2 Greens. The Local press is speculating which way we will go. We shall have much to discuss this week.
You might think the Tories would be trying to get us on their side, as their leader implied in the video interview. But local Tory bloggers have been saying as we voted along with Lab last year we will support Lab. Rob was a lone cllr, and voted as an oposition. Can't help if Lab did the same on occasion.
This has a video interview with Cllrs Rob and Melanie.
Tory Cllr Willis says "It remains to be seem whether Labour and the Greens will team up to form an administration or whether Labour will seek to run Reading as a minority administration with tacit Green support." He gives no chance at all for us supporting a Tory LD coalition, or indeed for the LD to support Labour. Before the election he said "The Greens won the ward by a landslide last year but that was with Rob White who had run what has been characterised as the longest election campaign in Reading’s history (around 5 years)! This year’s candidate is unknown and does not seem to have put in the work that Rob White undoubtedly did before his election." Revealing his ignorance, Mel works very hard indeed.
When we started in 2004 the other parties either ignored us or asked us not to stand (LD). They told us we couldnt possibly win. But every year we did better and better, mostly thanks to the hard work of Rob and a team of helpers. But also thanks to the other Park Cllrs doing almost no work. So its funny to hear ex Cllr Wazir Hussain described as a hard worker! He did very little but did try a nasty leaflet right at the end; that clearly didnt work, he came nowhere. Then this year they said only Rob could win, once again they are wrong, they underestimate us at their peril.
Tory Cllr Emma Warman says "Park, of course, was always going to be difficult as Wazir Hussain had won in 2007 with only 7 votes and the ward had subsequently gone first Labour and then Green. This has been a closely contested 3-way ward and it was no surprise, although still disappointing, that Wazir Hussain was unable to retain his seat. Having worked with Wazir on the Council for the past 3 years I can say he is a genuinely nice man and was a hard working councillor and I think he will be missed by the people of Park ward. There is no doubt that the Green Party have campaigned hard in Park over the last few years and to that extent their victory is deserved, although from what we have seen from Cllr White over the last year they seem to be very much Labour Party stooges with little to offer of genuine substance. I fully expect them to do a deal with Labour in the next few days." Trying to woo us with kind words perhaps?
LD Gareth Epps says "They (Labour) could try and form some sort of accommodation with the Greens; they could also find themselves in opposition against a rickety rainbow coalition of Tories, Lib Dems, Greens and the Other." He at least admits there is more than one posibility.
Ex Lab MP Jane Grifiths says "remember that Cumpsty is right when he says the Tories have shown they can work with partners from other parties. Remember too that Rob White has shown this too over the past year. The Greens have a history of selling themselves cheap - they should go into a rainbow coalition with the Tories and LibDems, the price of which would be a Green in Cabinet - and then get Reading working again. No more sweetheart deals, clean government, openness and transparency. What do you say?"
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