WYRE Forest District Council has announced that it expects a “Progressive Alliance” of three political groups to form the administration following the council’s Annual General Meeting later this month.

The Wyre Forest Conservative group is set to step aside at the end of the month after failing to secure a majority of seats following the district council elections last week.

Ian Miller, the council’s chief executive, said: “Following the elections on May 2, political groups have been formed.

"I have met the leaders of the Independent Community and Health Concern group and the Independent, Liberal Democrat and Green group this afternoon.

“They have indicated that, together with the Labour Group, they intend to support the appointment of Councillor Graham Ballinger as leader of the council at the meeting on May 22.”

The leader of the council elected on May 22 will then appoint other councillors to join the cabinet. A separate announcement will be made in due course about the cabinet members and their portfolios.”

Conservative Marcus Hart will continue in office as leader of the council until the meeting.

The Conservatives acquired 14 seats in the election, with the Independent Community and Health Concern winning eight, Independent, Liberal Democrat & Green winning nine, and Labour two.

Graham Ballinger said: “This is an opportunity to take a fresh look at the way things are done in Wyre Forest and to create unity across all political parties going forward.

“The Conservatives have done their best but the public have said they want Health Concern as number one.

“The independents were also very strong in the council election and there were some strong pockets of support for the Liberal Democrats. We have a new Green Party member, some younger members and more female councillors.

“It is a tough time financially for the authority but together we can improve services in the interest of the public and take Wyre Forest forwards.”

Cllr Ballinger is one of three Health Concern candidates to be elected for the Franche and Habberley North ward in last week’s election, alongside his daughter Susie Griffiths.

He added: “The title Progressive Alliance sums up exactly what we aim to be – no politics affecting our decisions and no party political spats on social media. The public are fed up of that.

“It’s a challenging time for all of us but I’m relishing it. I thought I’d retired but I’ve come back to lead this new alliance for the good of Wyre Forest’s residents.”

Wyre Forest Labour press officer Stephen Brown added: “It’s quite clear that the voters of Wyre Forest have rejected the Conservative administration.

“The message is that they have to listen more to residents.

“The alliance is an idea that goes back a couple of years. It will be a refocus that can only be for the betterment of the district.”