HEREFORDSHIRE Council’s three largest opposition groups have joined forces in a bid to oust the Conservatives from power at Shirehall.

The Herefordshire Independents, It’s Our County, and The Green Party have agreed to support each other in the run up to the May 2 county council elections.

Group leaders hope to form the Herefordshire Alliance if they receive enough support from the electorate for a change on the council.

One of the alliance’s proposals is to remove the cabinet system and move to a committee style of governance, involving all elected councillors, as soon as the council constitution allows it.

Its leaders are asking voters to get behind the alliance candidate standing in their area – whichever of the three groups that candidate is representing.

It’s Our County co-leader Liz Harvey said the alliance was hugely important in bringing about change at the council.

“Vote for us if you believe in a broad more representative council,” she said.

“A vote for an alliance candidate in your area is a vote for us all.”

Green group leader Trish Marsh said her party has always been keen to cooperate with other parties they share common ground with.

“We have a strong record on this nationally and locally,” she said.

“None of the opposition parties have the resources to effectively contest and win elections in all wards in the county.

“We all have to make decisions about where to focus our energies, based on existing strengths.

“We all have a shared interest in freeing the council from one-party control, improving scrutiny, sharing responsibility, and moving towards a more consensual, broadly-based politics.”

Meanwhile, the Conservatives said it was their intention to field candidates for all of the council wards.

Deputy leader Nigel Shaw said: “The Conservative group is aware that the opposition parties have had difficulty in finding candidates willing to stand in many ward areas, so their decision to work together in an electoral pact is not surprising.

“It is currently our group’s intention to stand a Conservative candidate in all 53 wards of the county in order to satisfy the demand of the electorate.

“The Conservative group is proud of its record of delivery during the current administration when many neighbouring councils have suffered severe budgetary problems.

“One thing is clear, if you want a Hereford bypass then only voting Conservative on May 2 can deliver this.”