CONSERVATIVE Leader Sean Anstee has ceded control of Trafford Council to Labour after last week's elections reduced his party's influence at town hall.

Conservative Council Leader Sean Anstee deliberated with Conservative councillors at a party meeting on Wednesday where they ruled out forming a coalition and ceded control to Labour.

The decision was not unexpected after Labour wrested three seats from the Conservatives, effectively ending 14 years of Conservative rule in Trafford.

But with neither party boasting a majority, Cllr Anstee would have had to enter an unlikely coalition with either the Liberal Democrats or the Green Party to continue to assert control of the council.

But Cllr Anstee revealed today that it would be ‘completely inappropriate’ to attempt to broker a deal to preserve Conservative control in the borough.

He said it was ‘clear’ Trafford residents had voted for a new administration, leaving the fate of the council's leadership in Labour's hands.

He said: “Having considered the result it is clear the people of Trafford voted for a new administration.

“We have no overall control and are not the largest party so it would be completely inappropriate to seek to form an administration.”

Cllr Anstee, who will remain party leader, warned that a Labour controlled coalition would be ‘very fragile’ and wouldn’t come without risk.

He added: “It’s a risk as Trafford residents will be governed by a very fragile political make-up but, that said, we need to make sure communities and businesses are served.”

Labour Leader Cllr Western said ‘preliminary’ talks with the Liberal Democrats were ongoing, but that a Labour-Green pact was ‘unlikely’.

“There’s more than one option on the table, but if we don’t get a deal I will put myself forward as leader at the next council meeting,” he added.

“The Tories accept it was a big vote for change – they lost two seats to the Greens – we won the popular vote by 10 per cent.

“We are the largest party now and I’d be very disappointed if either the Lib Dems or the Greens thought their best option would be to support the Tories after their crushing defeat.”

Cllr Anstee said that in order to get back into power, the Conservatives would need to work ‘really hard’ to identify which seats to target next year.

“Going forward people will clearly judges us on what we do next, however, being in administration is a lot harder than being the opposition,” he added.

“The Labour group has made a lot of promises for this year, which they will be tested on. We’ll be making sure that the interests of all Trafford residents are protected."

The Trafford Conservative Group met on Wednesday evening and agreed against forming an administration at the annual meeting of Trafford Council on May, 23.

"This was a difficult decision but the overwhelming feeling of members was that it is the right one, given the outcome of the election last week", said Cllr Anstee.

"It will become our responsibility to hold a new administration to account, in whatever form that may be, and at the same time we will quickly move to regroup and campaign again ahead of next year’s local elections in the interests of Trafford’s residents and businesses.

"It’s vital that Conservative planned investment of £31.4m in roads and our investment in to new or refurbished leisure centres in Stretford, Altrincham, Sale, Urmston and Partington proceed.

"This is alongside completion of library developments in Timperley, Hale and Altrincham and delivery of UA92 and the Refreshed Stretford Masterplan so that all parts of the borough to thrive. In a no overall control position, these alongside value for money council tax and supporting our schools remain some of our key priorities.

"We can be rightly proud of our achievements over the previous fourteen years; the revitalisation of our town centres and a growing economy, eight green flag parks, recycling more than any local authority in the North, support for our libraries, Metrolink extension to Trafford Park and the Trafford Centre, halving council tax for special constables and exempting care leavers from paying it all together until age 25 and of course our staunch support for young people with amongst the highest performing children’s services in the country and backing our good and outstanding schools, including selective education.

"This election results clearly didn’t work for us this time, but we will never give up fighting for our residents and for the borough we are all proud to call home."