TENDRING Council’s opposition groups have unveiled their shadow cabinet aimed at taking on the Tory-led administration.

The authority was left in no overall control after the district council elections in May, but the 16-strong Conservative group clung on to power after forming a coalition with Ukip’s five councillors, the three Holland-on-Sea and Eastcliff Matters councillors and independent St Osyth councillors Michael Talbot and John White.

Tendring First’s Terry Allen narrowly lost the vote to become the new council leader to Conservative group leader Neil Stock by 26 votes to 21.

But the five opposition groups, including Labour, Tendring Independents, Independents, Tendring First and the Liberal Democrats, have vowed to work together.

They have now unveiled a shadow cabinet aimed at holding the administration’s portfolio holders to account.

Mr Allen, leader of the opposition coalition, said: “The discussions we had following the local elections showed us how many opportunities were being missed by the Conservative-led administration and how many areas of responsibility were not being delivered to their full potential.

“We have excellent council officers and we believe that these shortcomings result from a lack of political leadership.

“By forming a shadow cabinet we intend to make sure that every portfolio holder is performing to the necessary level.”

Alonside Mr Allen, the shadow cabinet will include Ivan Henderson (Lab), who will shadow the cabinet member for business and economic growth, Mark Stevenson (Tendring Independent) shadowing leisure and tourism, Gary Scott (Lib Dem) will shadow housing, Graham Steady (Ind Group) will shadow partnerships, Maria Fowler (Lab) will shadow environment and public space, Mike Bush (Tendring Independent) will shadow corporate finance and governance and Delyth Miles (Tendring Independent) will shadow independent living.

Mr Allen added: “We believe that we have a strong team made up of all five opposition groups with a lot of very experienced, energetic and talented councillors sitting behind the shadow cabinet in our opposition coalition.

“There is a great deal that can be achieved within Tendring that has not been done and we intend to ensure that the Conservative-led administration takes its responsibilities far more seriously than has been seen in recent years.”

The opposition groups had already called for an extraordinary meeting, which is set to take place on July 15, to discuss a motion denouncing any plans by County Halls to axe libraries.

Neil Stock, leader of the district council, had welcomed the move to create a shadow cabinet, having been part of a Tory one in 2007.

“I welcome councillors working together for the benefit of Tendring,” he said.

“If they want to be a constructive force that benefits the district, then I’m all for it.”

But he criticised the move to call an extraordinary meeting as “political point scoring”.