The Liberal Democrats have admitted it will be difficult for them to take control of Wokingham Borough Council at this year’s election.

To win a majority on the council, the party will need to win 16 of the 18 seats that are up for grabs at the election on Thursday, May 6.

They are competing for all 18 seats and three experienced Lib Dems – Cllr Lindsay Ferris, Cllr Rachelle Shepherd-DuBey and Cllr Clive Jones – are standing for re-election.

The Tories have controlled the council for almost 20 years, and they currently hold 31 of the 54 seats.

READ MORE: All the Liberal Democrat councillors standing for election in Wokingham in 2021

Cllr Ferris, who is the leader of the Liberal Democrat Group in Wokingham, said the party accept it would be “unrealistic” for them to win a majority, but they are aiming to “get enough seats to take control away from the Conservatives”.

“I’m not going to count any chickens, but I’m quite encouraged,” he said.

“For full control, we need to go from 15 to 28 seats, so we need to gain 13.

“I don’t think we can be solely in charge.

 Cllr Lindsay Ferris, leader of the Liberal Democrat Group in Wokingham

 Cllr Lindsay Ferris, leader of the Liberal Democrat Group in Wokingham

“We have our target seats and our opponents know where we are campaigning, as they will have seen us there, so it’s all to play for.”

Cllr Ferris said the Liberal Democrats will not look to form a “formal coalition” with another party if none of them have a majority after the election.

He said the party would consider a confidence-and-supply agreement, which would see them work with other parties to make sure they can vote through key policies.

The Lib Dems have drawn up a plan outlining what action they will take in the first 100 days, if they take control of the council.

They have also published their manifesto, which states they will implement an “ambitious” recovery plan for the local economy after the Covid-19 pandemic.

READ MORE: All the Conservative candidates standing for election in Wokingham in 2021

It says the party will plant 300,000 trees, cut emissions, and reduce the average waiting time for Children’s & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) assessments from two years to six weeks.

Promises to review the council’s spending plans and “put a stop to risky speculative investments” are also included in the manifesto.