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Gateway 97.8 understands that following a change in position from the last remaining UKIP councillor, Hazel Green, Labour will lead Basildon Council with the support of independent councillors and the one UKIP councillor.
This follows news just last week, which suggested that Councillor Green would be supporting the Conservative group in Basildon.
It is expected that at the full council meeting this evening, Labour will choose Councillor David Burton-Sampson as their mayor for the coming year. This follows suggestions last week, when it was thought that Councillor David Dadds would have a second year as mayor.
Speaking to the Yellow Advertiser, Hazel Green’s election agent, Frank Ferguson, confirmed that she will confirmed that she will be supporting the ‘rainbow alliance’, saying:
“She has gone back to the alliance. She went away for the weekend and has spoken to quite a lot of friends, some of whom were involved with politics, and has taken on various aspects and angles, and has actually decided that she will serve her constituents best by voting for the alliance.”
After the local elections earlier this month, the Conservative group was left with 20 of the 42 council seats. For a group to lead the council, they must have a simple majority of seats. With the support of UKIP and the independent councillors, Labour will be able to control the council for the year ahead.
A full council meeting takes place at 7:30 tonight (Thursday) at the Bas Centre.
Councillor David Burton-Sampson has been contacted for comment.
More updates to follow.