TALKS over the future of Worcester City FC under the council's new Labour leadership have officially kicked off, it has emerged.

A new 'working party' including club bosses and politicians has held its first set of negotiations in a bid to try and solve the team's controversial city exile.

Labour leader Councillor Adrian Gregson, who took over at the Guildhall following last month's elections, said he now expects to stage more talks "at regular intervals" until a solution is found.

"We're committed to bringing the football club back to Worcester and will work with them to realise that ambition," he said.

"It was a very successful first meeting where we agreed to work together to explore all options for helping the club to play home matches in Worcester again.

"The working party will meet again in two weeks, and at regular intervals after that so that we can continue to work collectively to bring the club back to Worcester."

Anthony Hampson, the club's chairman, Rob Crean, secretary of its supporters' trust and Green Councillor Louis Stephen were also involved in the initial talks.

Conservative Councillor Marc Bayliss, who leads the opposition Tory group, has already said his party will not take part in the talks, but also wants the team to come back to Worcester and is prepared to assist the club if necessary.

The trust's current application for a 4,100 capacity stadium on Perdiswell Park is not being discussed during the sessions, with the sessions purely aimed at establishing any possible alternatives.

The Worcester News revealed last month how the city's two Green Party politicians, who are actively opposed to Perdiswell, want the Labour administration to find another site - and have suggested taxpayers' money be used to help fund the club's costs towards a fresh planning application.

But the council has released a statement saying Perdiswell "will still be considered as an option, dependent on the outcome of the planning application".

The planning committee, which is independent of the council's leadership, will be tasked with making a decision over the Perdiswell bid over the coming months.

The club has been exiled at Kidderminster Harriers' Aggborough since 2013 after leaving St George's Lane and next season will play at Bromsgrove. 

The application for a new ground on Perdiswell Park, submitted in April 2014, has been bogged in difficulties and has attracted around 1,400 public comments, with more than 1,000 of them in support.

Petitions both for and against the Perdiswell stadium bid have attracted 1,000 names each.