IT was “so near, yet so far” yet again for Colchester Conservatives as they failed to secure a majority on Colchester Council, even though they increased their councillor count

The Conservatives failed to make the gains needed to take control of the council from the ruling coalition, despite a bounce for the party nationwide.

Leader Paul Dundas insisted it had been a positive election night for the party.

He said: “We were realistic about our chances with the seats which were up.

“We are disappointed to have got so near yet so far to taking control of the council, but we are really proud of the candidates who ran.”

The Conservatives now hold 23 seats, winning nine on Thursday, but didn’t take any wards off the other parties.

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Mr Dundas said: “This leaves us with a minority administration and the largest party in opposition. I think it is disappointing for the voters of Colchester the biggest party is not in control of the council.

“We will be getting ready for next year’s elections from Monday morning.

“We will continue to point out the failings of the administration and we will be ensure if it is a three or four way coalition that as many issues as possible are brought to the council chamber for a vote.”