GREEN Party chiefs in Mid Worcestershire are celebrating after the party notched up its first ever seats on Wychavon District Council by sweeping the board in Evesham South against the Conservatives.
The history-making feat was among the headlines during a dramatic count at Pershore Leisure Centre which also saw the Tories lose a seat in Broadway and lose two of the three councillors in Pershore to the Liberal Democrats who followed the national success by claiming all three of the town’s seats.
As a result, the Conservatives lost four seats on the day after effectively gaining Little Hampton which Ged Bearcroft won for UKIP at the last elections before he crossed the floor to join the Tories.
Coun Bradley Thomas, who was elected unopposed in Harvington and Norton, will have a majority of 27 on the new-look council with 36 Conservatives, six Liberal Democrats, two Green Party members and an Independent.
Speaking after the results, Coun Julie Tucker, one of the two new Green Party district councillors for Evesham South, said: “I am very pleased because of all the work the Green team have put in.
“I hope to work as much as I can for the community, listening to what they want so that we can move forward for them.
Coun Ed Cohen echoed his colleagues delight at being elected and said: “It’s been great we have both got in so we can work as a team to make it better when we are at the council and I am sure we will both push forward a green agenda.
Neil Franks, the Green Party’s representative for Mid Worcestershire and the Vale, hailed the result as an historic day and said the success was down to the party engaging with the local community through Coun Tucker’s work on Evesham Town Council.
“It many ways it’s not a surprise Julie has been elected for us, people know Ed from when he used to own a shop in the town too,” he said.
“We’re not disappearing like so many politicians do only to reappear at election time, we’re going to work all year round and make the community proud they have elected a Green to represent them.”
Liberal Democrat leader Coun Margaret Rowley hailed the success of their campaign which saw the party’s share of the vote rise as local Lib Dems enjoyed some of the success felt by the party nationally.
“We’re pleased to see we have made progress but we’re a little disappointed in Droitwich South West as Paul Wiseman came within 12 votes of winning us another seat, it would have been nice to have got councillors in Droitwich,” she said.
Despite losing seats, the Conservatives retained Badsey, both seats on Bengeworth, Bredon, both seats on Evesham North, Fladbury, Honeybourne and Pebworth and saw Coun Andrew Dyke return to the council chamber by retaining one of the two Little Hampton seats alongside Coun Frances Smith.
“There are a few results I am disappointed about but the Conservative vote has held up well, we’ve got strong Conservatives delivered back to Wychavon and I think that is in part testament to the good work we do,” Coun Thomas said.
“People know Conservatives on Wychavon deliver good services at good value. Out of 45 councillors on Wychavon we have got 36 Conservatives and the important thing for me is that means we can focus on keeping Council Tax low, focus on urban design, reducing social isolation and improving social mobility,” he added.