THE 'BASIS of a deal' has been reached for the coalition to continue running Blackburn with Darwen Council, according to councillors.

Negotiations have been taking place since the local election on May 6, where Labour came within a whisker of winning enough seats to regain control of the town hall, ahead of a crunch meeting on Thursday night.

But now the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and For Darwen parties are set to continue the partnership which has kept Labour out of power since 2007.

Together the three parties have 33 seats, to Labour’s 31.

The Lancashire Telegraph has seen an email setting out the terms for the new partnership.

It includes demands from For Darwen that the borough council does not charge the town council to use Darwen town hall for its meetings, which have been accepted by the other parties.

The council’s Neighbourhood Boards committee, which have sparked rows between the Lib Dems and For Darwen, will 'compliment rather than conflict' with the town council.

And a group made up of two members of each party will be set up to resolve disputes.

According to the document, the For Darwen party demanded a number of key positions for its members, including a place on the Fire Authority and the chair of either the licensing or the planning committee.

But not all of these were accepted by Tory council leader Michael Lee.

Coun Lee said: “There were discussions on policies as well as positions.

“We have the basis of an agreement.”

The Tory group will vote on the terms of the agreement tomorrow night.

He dismissed the finely balanced election result, pointing out the share of seats was the same as in 2007.

As comfortably the biggest party in the town hall, Labour has claimed it has been given a mandate to regain power.

But the party has failed to strike a deal to gain the extra seat it would need to have a majority.

The new leadership will be formally voted in on Thursday at the mayor-making meeting at Blackburn town hall.