Independents for Newark promise end to party politics on Newark and Sherwood Distrcit Council
An end to party politics is being promised following a dramatic local council elections.
The Independents say they want to encourage working across the political divide after they won an unprecedented 11 seats on Newark and Sherwood District Council.
After the final results were declared last week, it left the council under no overall control with the Conservatives — who had held a majority for over a decade — suffering several big-name losses, including leader David Lloyd and deputy leader Keith Girling.
The Conservatives hold 14 seats, Labour, 11 seats, Independents, 11 seats and Liberal Democrats three.
A coalition will now be needed for the council to operate and discussions are ongoing between parties.
Emma Oldham, who was elected for the Independents for Newark group to the Balderton North and Coddington ward, said: “We are all very eager to learn, but we know as a group that we need to sit back, listen, learn and then really get stuck in.
“We want strong leadership from the offset and we’re working very hard on negotiations to make sure that more women are being represented and that we don’t become absorbed by all the other politcal parties.
“We are working really hard to protect the victory that we have won and shift from party politics to collaborative working, so that we are all working together for the people, rather than against each other.
“We have had a really victorious moment and we need to build up that momentum. But we can’t rush this, it has to be done right.”
She said the results showed people wanted change.
“It just echoes all of the support that we were getting on the doorsteps and it was really nice to know that what people were telling us in the streets — wanting to see change and being fed up of the toxic culture in the council — actually did convert into votes and people meant what they were telling us,” she said.
Negotiations are ongoing as to how the next council will be led, with announcements from across the political spectrum expected within the week.
A new cabinet will be formally appointed at the next full council meeting on May 23.
Ahead of the meeting, all new councillors will be given an introduction and taken through a training programme by council officers to prepare them for their new roles.