FOOD waste collections will be introduced across Colchester, according to the reformed borough council administration.

A coalition of Lib Dem, Labour and independent councillors will today sign an agreement to continue to run Colchester Council.

It has taken the parties, which have been in charge of the authority since 2008, a fortnight of discussions to come to an agreement.

Leader Anne Turrell, a Lib Dem, said rolling out food waste collections, being trialled in parts of Colchester, across the borough would be a priority.

She insisted the fortnight of discussions required before an agreement could be reached was not a sign of discord between the three parties.

She said: “We’ve worked together now for four years. So far the trial has been successful.”

Martin Hunt will continue as deputy leader and will be responsible for street services.

The other Lib Dems on the cabinet will be Paul Smith, in charge of business and resources, Lyn Barton, responsible for renaissance and newcomer Annie Feltham, who takes on communities and leisure.

Labour, which gained one seat from the Conservatives in the only change at the local elections on May 3, has slightly strengthened its position on the cabinet.

Leader Tim Young is responsible for community safety and planning and deputy leader Tina Dopson takes on the housing portfolio.

Beverley Oxford, a member of the Highwoods Independent Group which holds all of the seats on the estate, is again in charge of customer service.

The Lib Dems hold 26 out of 60 seats on the council, Labour eight and the independents three.

Will Quince, who replaces Kevin Bentley as leader of the Conservative group, said: “No business would operate like this.

Colchester Council needs strategic direction. If we’re shutting down for eight weeks every year, it’s clearly to the detriment of the taxpayer.”