TALKS start this week to decide which party runs two councils where the ruling group lost control in Thursday’s local elections.

Labour will seek to run Burnley as a minority administration after they fell one seat short of a majority after seven years in power.

And Pendle’s new Conservative leader Cllr Christian Wakeford will seek to reform the joint administration with the Liberal Democrats which fell apart in 2014.

The Barrowford representative was elected as the new leader of its Tory group at the weekend after previous boss Paul White stood down from the council and his predecessor Joe Cooney was defeated in his Vivary Bridge ward in Colne.

Cllr Wakeford has already written to Labour group leader Cllr Mohammed Iqbal and his Liberal Democrat counterpart Cllr David Whipp calling for negotiations on forming a joint administration with one or the other.

In Burnley, the Labour group will hold a meeting on Tuesday to decide how to proceed after the party lost five seats leaving it with 22 councillors.

The Liberal Democrats now have eight, the Burnley and Padiham Independent Party (a breakaway from the main Lib Dem group) have five, the Tories four, Ukip three.

The Greens now have two and there is one Independent - former Lib Dem David Roper.

Labour is clearly hoping that the support of at least one of the latter three, who have voted with the party in the past year, will sustain then through the next 12 months.

Labour group leader Cllr Mark Townsend said: “It was disappointing to lose five councillors and control of the council. However, we are the largest party and clearly hope to be at the heart of any new administration.

“With so many factions on the other side, any coalition of chaos they cobbled together to run the council would soon fall apart.”

Lib Dem leader and former MP Cllr Gordon Birtwistle said: “I haven’t the faintest idea what happens next.”

Ukip’s Cllr Alan Hosker, who represents Hapton with Park, said: “We will work with anyone but Labour.”

Cllr Neil Mottershead, Burnley and Padiham Independent councillor for Gannow, said: “I have no idea what will happen now.”

Cllr Wakeford said: “I want to end the toxic atmosphere of politics in Pendle. I want to see co-operation, not confrontation.”

He clearly hopes he can strike a deal with the Lib Dems as was the case prior to 2014 when they switched sides to ally with Labour.

May’s shift from a Cabinet system running the council with executive members appointed by the leader, to a committee system with all-party representation on the ruling policy and resources body may make a loose coalition more feasible.

Cllr Whipp said: “Our group will meet today to decide how to proceed. We have a number of priorities including pulling out of plans for a Pennine Lancashire super council and building houses on brownfield land rather than greenfield sites, which are out bottom lines in any negotiation with the other parties.”

Cllr Iqbal said: “We are prepared to start talks with the Lib Dems but we will not negotiate with the Tories.”