FOOD recycling trials and more help for those deemed most in need are on the agenda in Colchester over the next 12 months.

That’s the message from the coalition of councillors set to run Colchester Council after last week’s elections.

None of the 20 seats up for grabs last Thursday changed hands, meaning there are still 26 Lib Dem, 24 Conservative, seven Labour and three independent councillors on the council.

The leaders of the Lib Dem, Labour and independent groups which have run Colchester Council as a coalition since 2008 met on Monday and agreed in principle to continue.

Lib Dem Anne Turrell was set to be voted in for a fourth year as council leader.

Martin Hunt, leader of the Lib Dems, fought off a strong campaign from the Conservatives to retain his Christ Church seat and is again expected to be made the council’s deputy leader.

Mr Hunt said the coalition would focus on helping those affected by Government cuts, introducing new green policies and ensuring a new zoning system for dealing with waste and litter in Colchester is smoothly introduced.

He said: “I think we all agree we need to find ways to counteract some of the problems that the Government is causing to the poor and vulnerable, and those in need.”

Mr Hunt said money had been found to carry out trials of food waste collection in one urban and one rural area of Colchester, although the details were yet to be decided.

He said: “Food recycling is something we really want to do. Finding funding to do the whole lot is going to be another story.”

Labour group leader Tim Young, who successfully defended his St Andrew’s seat, agreed offering as much support as possible to local charities which support vulnerable residents was required.

He said: “We’re going to look at improving communication, but apart from that, I think the voters of Colchester seem content with what we’re doing, and it’s a case of doing even better.”

Gerard Oxford, who heads the High Woods Independent Group, added the coalition would also focus on finding a new bus station site and ensuring the Firstsite arts centre was completed at no extra cost.