THE Conservatives are set to take control of Colchester Council for the first time in more than ten years. 

After Thursday’s election the incumbant Lib Dem and Labour coalition was left with 23 seats between them, one less than they started out the night with.

However, after the Conservatives failed to secure a majority, holding 23 seats, leader of the council and Lib Dem Mark Cory said discussions had been ongoing to form a renewed coalition.

But in a statement this morning, the Conservative Group announced it had reached an agreement with the Highwoods Independent Group to form a new joint administration for the next year.

The Highwoods Independents are made up of Gerard Oxford, his wife, Beverly and their son, Philip.

The two groups combined have 26 seats on the 51 seat council.

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Paul Dundas, leader of the Conservative group, said: “We have had extremely productive discussions over the last few days and have found we have a great deal in common in our visions for Colchester.

"At the heart of this is that we both agree Colchester always comes first.

“I would like to thank Beverly and Gerard for the extremely open way they have conducted negotiations and it is clear from our discussions they put Highwood’s and Colchester’s needs above anything else.

"Over the next 12 months it will be extremely valuable to me to have such experienced and knowledgeable people on board.

“Over the next days and weeks we will begin to assemble a new team to take Colchester forward and we will begin to layout our policies in detail.”

The new ruling cabinet will consist of 6 councillors, with five Conservatives and one Highwoods Independent.