LIBERAL Democrats will remain in charge of Colchester Town Hall following almost two weeks of crunch talks after voters had their say.

The leadership of Colchester Council was left hanging in the balance after all parties failed to secure an overall majority on May 2.

Now, almost two weeks on, the Gazette understands a decision has been made over which parties will hold the council’s top jobs until residents return to the polls in 2026.

After last year’s local elections, a long-standing coalition between the Lib Dems and Labour came to an end.

Lib Dem councillor David King remained leader of the council, leading a minority administration with Labour propping up the council with some of its councillors holding committee chairmanships.

Gazette: Councillor - David King remained the leader of Colchester Council after the local elections in 2023Councillor - David King remained the leader of Colchester Council after the local elections in 2023 (Image: Steve Brading)

Martin Goss, leader of the Lib Dem Group, has confirmed this arrangement will continue and that council documents confirming the decision are expected to be published on Wednesday.

"We're not going into a formal coalition with either the Greens or Labour," he said.

"But we will have Labour's support, working in the same way as we did last year in an informal agreement."

Despite being the largest party on the council with 19 seats, the Conservatives aren't in charge of the authority for the next two years after failing to secure more than half of the 51 seats across the borough.

The Tories held on to every seat they contested in Colchester this year despite the party facing heavy losses elsewhere in Essex and across England.

The Lib Dems hold 15 seats in Colchester and Labour 14.

Julie Young, leader of the Labour group, said: “We worked well with the Lib Dems for 15 years but we all stand as candidates for election on our party’s manifestos and Labour wants to deliver our manifesto.

“That’s our priority, to deliver as much of our manifesto as we can within the constraints of the council’s finances.”

Gazette: Hopeful - Labour group leader Julie YoungHopeful - Labour group leader Julie Young (Image: Steve Brading)

The Green Party, which now has three seats on the council and was also previously in a coalition with the Lib Dems and Labour, is understood to not be involved in the "informal agreement".

Group leader Richard Kirkby-Taylor said the party is “looking for continuity” and that he and his colleague Mark Goacher “unfortunately aren’t in a position to step up to the plate”.

“From our point of view, we’re looking at continuity and want to make sure whatever arrangement the Lib Dems and Labour come to, the safety, welfare, and environment of Colchester is prioritised as much as possible,” he said.