Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Labour-Tory coalition in Bristol

As it turns out there will be a Labour executive propped up by the Tories in Bristol - one of the suggestions I made previously. Labour and the Tories previously combined to oppose a minority Lib Dem administration continuing in office after we lost two seats. It's interesting that this new coalition is entirely Labour (the article tallies up the number of councillors wrongly, I blame the Labour executive edit: it's correct now), so I imagine the Labour group will have given some concessions to the Tories.

I think this is good for both the Lib Dems and the citizens of Bristol. Firstly, the new executive has the support of a majority of councillors so it cannot be sabotaged by the opposition doing political deals - if it fails it will be due the Tories and Labour failing to work together, and given the current direction both parties are going that should not be a problem. The Liberal Democrats will be able to offer constructive criticism and will be properly able to hold the executive to account.

We should take pride in how we've turned Bristol around this past few years - especially the dramatic improvement in school GCSE results and the huge increase in recycling rates. Though a Labour/Tory coalition may lead back to the years of neglect before the Lib Dems took power a few years ago, it will not be from a lack of scrutiny - we've set the bar high and the Labour/Tory coalition will be hard-pressed to continue at the high standards Bristol's citizens now expect.

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