SERIOUS discussions are taking place at Trafford Council this morning after fourteen years of Conservative rule came to a dramatic end at the local elections last night.

A clearly deflated Cllr Sean Anstee, Conservative Leader of Trafford Council, told The Messenger that the parties must put party loyalties aside in the coming months and "work together to keep Trafford moving".

He said: "Some of the results were hugely disappointing last night. Clearly, a serious discussion needs to be had both within Trafford Conservatives and within the Council, to decide how we go forward from here.

"Trafford has always been a finely balanced council and we still have considerable influence, so we shouldn't be too down-hearted.

"People have voted for us for 14 years so we must have been doing things right.

"I think our great grammar schools, our low council tax, our investment in libraries and leisure facilities were all well received and received support from the other parties.

"It will be more difficult now to steer Trafford in the positive direction we want to but we will continue to put our vision forward for a vibrant, prosperous future and work with the other parties to continue the good work we have started."

We asked Cllr Sean Anstee whether the new make-up of Trafford Council, with no party having overall control, could make it difficult to get things done in the borough and result in deadlock over local issues.

Cllr Anstee said: "It could be more difficult to get things done now and that's why it will be important for all the parties and all the councillors to work together and keep Trafford moving in the right direction.

"Fortunately, Trafford has always been a finely balanced council and we have a good history of all the parties and different councillors working together for the benefit of Trafford.

"There are good relationships between councillors and we share many of the same concerns.

"We all want Trafford to continue to be a great place to live, we owe it to the people who put their faith in us for the past fourteen years."

Cllr Anstee defended the Conservative council's record when pressed on whether the people of Trafford had lost faith in the Conservatives because of contentious issues such as potholes, a rise in crime, or the unpopular Amey contract.

He said: "I don't think it was because of any single issue, I think there was a combination of reasons why people voted the way they did.

"As the only Conservative majority council in Greater Manchester, we were a target for opposition activity.

"Labour put a lot of energy and resources into increasing their influence in Trafford and it was always going to be a tough, close election.

"I don't think any single issue won it for Labour or lost it for us, but we will now seriously reflect on what we saw in the result and think hard about what our next steps will be.

"We will continue to engage with voters and try to understand how people who previously voted Conservative, voted Labour yesterday."