LIBERAL Democrat Virginia Taylor is expected to be appointed as the new leader of Eden Council tonight, with Independent Mary Robinson as her deputy.

It comes after the Independents chose to side with the Lib Dems, Greens and Labour instead of the Conservatives.

Discussions between the parties have been ongoing since the local elections, with attempts to agree a coalition deal ahead of last night’s first full council meeting.

Following the vote on May 2, the Conservatives now have 14 seats, the Lib Dems 10, the Independents 10 and Labour and the Greens both two.

Initially the Liberal Democrats struck a deal with Labour and the Greens, taking them to 14 and leaving the balance of power with the Independent Group.

Mrs Robinson, Independent Group leader, said they had met with both, but were not happy with what the Conservatives were proposing.

“We did not want power at any cost,” she said.

She said the others were more in tune with their thinking. “We had some really constructive discussions, looking at all our priorities. We are looking forward to working with them and are ready to hit the ground running.”

This would include reviewing the whole of the controversial Penrith masterplan and scrapping the Beacon villages scheme, she added.

Former Conservative council leader, Kevin Beaty, said: “It’s disappointing. We had the highest number of seats. We spoke to the Independents and offered them what we felt was a good deal. It’s disappointing that we won’t be able to continue to deliver the great things we had planned.”