Labour and Conservatives join forces at Hatfield Town Council
PUBLISHED: 17:06 16 May 2019 | UPDATED: 17:09 16 May 2019
The Labour and Conservative parties have agreed to share key positions at Hatfield Town Council at its annual general meeting yesterday.
After the local elections earlier this month - which left Labour and the Conservatives with six seats each - the two parties agreed to share power.
It was agreed at yesterday's meeting that Labour councillor Lenny Brandon will hold on to the council leader position and Conservative councillor Caron Juggins will become deputy leader.
"There was no 'deal' done," said councillor Brandon. "But a realisation by everyone that the results of the recent local elections meant we could either sit and do nothing, or work hard to continue to deliver."
Councillor Juggins echoed these sentiments, stressing to the Welwyn Hatfield Times that "no deal has been done."
Labour will also retain deputy and mayor positions with Councillor Linda Mendez taking position as Mayor and Councillor Margaret Eames-Petersen in the deputy position.
The rest of the vice-chair and chair positions of the planning, sports and grants committees will be distributed among the two parties.
"Everything has been done equally for Hatfield," councillor Juggins commented.
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The Liberal Democrats - who since the election have three seats - were frozen out of chair and vise-chair positions.
Mr Brandon continued: "I am aware that the Lib Dem party is unhappy with this, but I'd simply remind them that I spent a long time trying to get them to support what we are doing, and they flatly refused because, in their own words, they don't really understand how any of it works yet,"
Liberal Democrat councillor Richard Griffiths disagreed saying he was "not unhappy" about the Hatfield Town Council meeting.
"I regard the outcome as a success for the Lib Dems because our presence has forced two arch enemies to forge together," he said.
"It will be interesting to see how that pans out."
He went on say the leader of the council "failed to respond to an email" because "we now know he was busy forming an alliance with the Conservatives."
The Lib Dems will not chair any committees but will serve as members.
The council leader added: "They had been given two golden tickets in the last week, and they handed them both back unopened.
"I am pleased that almost all our councillors seem willing to take Hatfield forwards and make sure we continue to deliver on the things people want like the upcoming World Hatfield Festival Week."
For a full list of the positions agreed go to hatfield-herts.gov.uk/town-councillors.