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Conservatives form coalition with Independent group

A "soft" coalition of the 13-strong Conservative group and the two-strong Independent group has been agreed to form Boston Borough Council's new administration.

Victorious Conservative councillors met on Wednesday night and approved the coalition with Cllrs Richard and Alison Austin.

UKIP won 13 seats at last week's election, but Cllr Barrie Pierpoint has since left the group and is now an unaligned independent, leaving UKIP with 12 members. Labour has two.

Cllr Peter Bedford remains leader of the Conservative group and, with the biggest political group, is set to form the next administration at the council annual meeting next  Thursday (May  21). Portfolio holders, subject to ratification by the AGM, will be:

Cllr Peter Bedford, leader, responsibilities for coastal strategy, strategic planning - conservation/heritage/local development framework, county and regional partnerships, transformation programme, development control, Port of Boston, regeneration and media;

Cllr Michael Brookes, deputy leader, performance and waste services - street cleansing, green waste, refuse and recycling, democratic services, parish councils, performance and improvement;

Cllr Aaron Spencer, finance - finance (including revenues and benefits), procurement, IT, corporate governance, customer services, Freedom of Information, complaints;

Cllr Stephen Woodliffe, regulatory services - building control, environmental health, community safety, emergency planning, health and safety, licensing and land charges;

Cllr Paul Skinner, town centre - town centre development and management, car parks, markets and public toilets;

Cllr Claire Rylott, grounds and open spaces - leisure services, parks and open spaces, country parks and reserves, playing fields, tree management, crematoria and cemeteries, allotments and grounds maintenance;

Cllr Ben Evans, housing, property and community -  housing, community transport, property, homelessness, older people, community development and voluntary sector support.

Cllr Bedford said: We have a good mix of people for the council's Cabinet - some with council experience and all of them very level headed. These are people the residents of the town and borough and the staff of the council can have confidence in.

"They will help drive forward good governance and performance from the firm basis provided by the past four years. We are all committed to the regeneration of Boston, for which much of the groundwork has now been done.

"National chains are showing confidence in Boston with expansion and new development and we will continue to seek value for money with shared services such as the current arrangements for refuse collection that we have with East Lindsey District Council and CCTV with South Holland and North Kesteven District Councils."