THE CONSERVATIVES have maintained their stronghold in Wychavon after holding onto all the divisions they were defending in the crucial Worcestershire County Council elections.
It was a successful day today (Friday) for the party after they held all 11 divisions, and in many cases increased their majorities.
The Conservatives held on to Evesham North, Evesham South, Broadway, Bredon, Harvington, and the Littletons. In Pershore, the Liberal Democrats held the seat after Council Liz Tucker was re-elected.
Labour had a disappointing set of results. After fielding candidates in all 11 divisions, the party picked up just three second place finishes.
For the first time in County Council elections, the Green Party stood candidates in all 12 divisions in Wychavon. However, it will be a day to forgot after finishing in last place in every division.
The results from the Vale and from across Worcestershire now means the Conservatives retain overall control on the County Council, with an increased majority. The party now has 40 councillors, followed by Labour on 10, the Lib Dems on 3, the Green Party on 2 with one independent and one independent community and health concern. UKIP lost all of their councillors.
The overall turnout in Worcestershire was 34.8 per cent.
The Conservatives got 46.8 per cent of the vote across the county, with Labour on 22.9 per cent, Lib Dems on 11.6 per cent and independent and others making up 18.6 per cent.
Conservative leader at County Hall, Coun Simon Geraghty, hailed today’s victory as a ‘clear endorsement’ of his party’s plan to take the county forward.
The party managed to increase their number of seats from 31 to 40 after taking seats from Labour, the Lib Dems and UKIP. It now means the Conservatives have an overall majority of 23 on the County Council.
Speaking to the Observer, Evesham North West councillor, John Smith, said: “At the last election I had a majority of 96 and now I’ve got the best part of 700 so I’m extremely pleased.
“I worked extremely hard and that came to fruition and I’m really pleased I’ll get to serve the public and my ward for the next four years, irrespective of politics I shall be there to support them and work for them as best I can.”
Bob Banks, councillor for Evesham South, said: “This is the end of the election, but the beginning of the next four years work, which lies ahead, and we’re going to have some very interesting times.
“Local Government has changed a lot since I’ve been involved and it is perhaps going to change even more over the next four years.
“It is when the County Council will be retaining much more of its income, it will have more of the business rates, and so it will become more self-sufficient.
“To that extent this will bring the electorate in closer touch with those that they elect so that I’m sure will sharpen us all in our approach.”
Labour’s aim in the Vale, according to Michael Worrall from the party’s Evesham branch, was to achieve second place finishes and to double their vote in target divisions. They did achieve three second place finishes, which were in Evesham South, Evesham North and Harvington.
Mr Worrall said: “We’re obviously disappointed that we didn’t get any seats, but we never really thought we would. There were two targets we set our selves which were to come second, which we haven’t always done, and to double the Labour vote and we managed to do that in most of the areas.
“We felt really positive at the beginning of the campaign, but we feel that the announcement of the General Election probably hasn’t helped us.
“On the doorstep, ever since Theresa May’s announcement, that has been all people wanted to talk about.”
Election results in full:
Bob Banks (Con) 1453 ELECTED
Mary Campbell (Lab) 493
Julie Haines (Lib Dem) 282)
Fay Whitfield (Green) 223
Patricia Buckland (Green) 233
Tim Haines (Lib Dem) 384
John Smith (Con) 1160 ELECTED
Michael Worrall (Lab) 456
Diana Brown (Lib Dem) 317
Matthew Collins (Green) 164
Liz Eyre (Con) 1858 ELECTED
Martin Vernall (Lab) 217
Adrian Hardman (Con) 2371 ELECTED
Katri Hastings (Green) 212
David Niblett (Lab) 236
Liz Turier (Lib Dem) 465
Alastair Adams (Con) 1991 ELECTED
Viv Eden (Lab) 381
Patrick Hogan (Green) 188
Keith Wright (Lib Dem) 582
Sarah Cohen (Green) 146
Harry Cottam (UKIP) 181
John Gowers (Lab) 400
Anthony Hopkins (Con) 2056 ELECTED
Jack Parsons (Lib Dem) 269
Nina Freund (Green) 243
Linda Robinson (Con) 1219
Liz Tucker (Lib Dem) 2005 ELECTED