THE Conservative group on South Gloucestershire Council will continue as a minority administration following the results of the local elections.

The three main parties have agreed to keep the Tories in cabinet after the group gained one seat at the polls.

In a joint statement, the current leaders of the three parties, Cllrs John Calway (Con), Ruth Davis (Lib Dem) and Roger Hutchinson (Lab), said: "We look forward to continuing to serve the residents of South Gloucestershire to the best of our ability over the next four years.

"The three parties are committed to maintaining the good working relationship which has played a key role in helping South Gloucestershire to become one of the best performing councils in the country, providing high-quality, value for money services to local residents."

Labour were the biggest winners in the elections, gaining six seats, while the Liberal Democrats were heavily defeated losing seven seats.

Cllr Davis added: "We will be working hard to hold the administration to account.

"We want to grasp the opportunities for more local decision-making and involvement that the Lib Dems are promoting in Government.

"We will continue to act as local champions and work with residents on the issues that matter to them."

Cllr Hutchinson said Labour polled 8,000 more votes than the Lib Dems.

"We are renewed in numbers and in vigour and will stand up for public services and for those who depend on them," he said. "Coming second in the popular vote makes us even more determined to make sure our voice in heard. We will be speaking up for many thousands of local voters.

"We have clear differences with the other parties in terms of the future direction of the council. We are committed to keeping services in-house where possible, and we will continue to hold the ruling Conservatives to account and seek to influence policy in favour of priority neighbourhoods."

Tory leader Cllr John Calway said: "Over the last four years, local services improved significantly, council tax was kept down and a record number of residents now say that the council provides good value for money.

"We will do our best to deliver more of the same over the next four years, even as we meet the challenge of paying off the national debt."