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Brentwood Accord based on ‘hatred’ of Conservatives, says Tory leader

08:00 06 June 2014

Cllr Barry Aspinell

Cllr Barry Aspinell

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Opposition parties on Brentwood Council have formed an alliance to snatch control of the authority – based on the “joint hatred” of the ruling Conservatives, according to the former council leader.

Cllr Louise McKinlayCllr Louise McKinlay

Conservative Cllr Louise McKinlay, who was ejected from power after the pact was made, claimed there was a history of “animosity” between the members who will now form the administration.

The Tories lost four seats to opposition parties at last month’s local election, leaving them with 18 councillors and no overall majority.

The Liberal Democrats are seven seats behind with 11, Labour has three, Brentwood First four and there is one independent councillor.

But all the opposition councillors have formed the “Brentwood Accord”, a coalition against the Conservatives, to take control of the council.

Cllr McKinlay hit back against the alliance that has put an end to 10 years of Conservative rule.

She said: “The opposition are united purely against the Conservatives. You cannot run a council on joint hatred for an opposing political group.

“They have no policy convergence and there’s a history of animosity between individuals.

“Conservatives are the main party on the council and we won more seats than any other party.

“To exclude us and go ahead with the alliance is not respecting Brentwood residents’ wishes.”

Brentwood’s Lib-Dem leader Cllr Barry Aspinell is set to be elected as the Accord’s leader at Wednesday’s council meeting.

He admitted that he was not “bosom buddies” with all his new colleagues but said he would form a professional relationship.

He said: “We want to take Brentwood forward. I can only see that we’ll be working well together. I’ve been around for an awful long time and I trust people until they prove to me otherwise. We’ll have a working agreement and we respect each other in our various ways.

“We will never be bosom buddies but we will put Brentwood first.”

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