ONE of York’s political parties has agreed a coalition with a former councillor to ensure it can stay as the city’s main council opposition group.

Strensall councillor Sian Wiseman resigned from City of York Council’s Conservative group earlier this month after saying she could face a potential conflict of interest over the authority’s draft Local Plan.

Her husband’s family owns land earmarked for potential development under the 15-year planning blueprint.

She is now an independent councillor, but will act in coalition with the Conservatives and vote with the group on “political matters”.

The Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats both have nine councillors following Coun Wiseman’s resignation and Coun Lynn Jeffries’ decision to join the Lib Dems, but Coun Wiseman’s support will give the Tories the edge as the official opposition to the ruling Labour group.

Conservative leader Coun Ian Gillies said: “Coun Wiseman has stated her desire to remain independent for the reasons she has previously given, but has indicated her support for many of the initiatives of the Conservative group, with the exception of the Local Plan.

“I respect her personal stance and welcome her experience, particularly in health, within our group.”