ELECTION candidates are forming an alliance in a bid to create “a constructive opposition” to the Conservative Party’s domination of Braintree Council.

The Green Party, Liberal Democrats and two Independents standing in Coggeshall say they hope the arrangement will help them challenge the Tories in a number of areas.

A new housing local plan, saving and improving services such as libraries and GPs, opposing the plans for Rivenhall Incinerator and relaxing restrictions at Witham’s recycling centre are among the group’s pledges.

The agreement, which is promising not to run a party whip, includes 33 district council candidates who are hoping to be elected by voters next month.

The Greens’ James Abbott said: “We’ve been having a look at the situation with the district council and it’s dominated by the Conservatives, so perhaps this is the best way forward in terms of having an opposition.

“It’s not possible for us to stand in every ward because we simply don’t have the resources so we have to focus on the areas where we think we have the best chance of succeeding.

“Those areas are towards the south of the district and we’re not standing in Coggeshall to give Nick Unsworth and Tom Walsh the best chance possible.”

Mr Unsworth and Mr Walsh are the two Independent candidates for Coggeshall who are part of the alliance.

Mr Unsworth said: “Tom and I are standing for the district council in the Coggeshall ward and we are both fortunate enough to have the backing of both the Lib Dems and the Greens.

“We both want to represent the people of Coggeshall on local issues which matter to them and we’re pleased to have their support.”

Mr Abbott added: “We’re all out pounding the streets and when we’re talking to residents the main thing which comes up is the lack of a local plan and how fed-up people are with this bolting on of new homes to the edges of our towns and villages.

“The Conservatives’ garden communities plan has completely failed. We need the housing but we don’t need it in the form of these huge developments.

“A lot of people have told us that they won’t be voting for anyone given the current national situation but it’s important to say this about local issues.”

The local elections for district, parish and town councils take place on Thursday, May 2.

Voters in the Braintree district will need to show one form of photo ID or two forms of non-photo ID in order to vote.

49 Labour candidates are standing, 46 Conservative, 21 Greens, ten Liberal Democrats, five Independents, four Halstead Residents' Association candidates and two UKIP.

A full list of candidates for the whole district can be read here.