Conservatives lose overall control of Warwickshire County Council but no coalition planned
The Tories previously held 38 of the 62 seats with the Liberal Democrats having 11, Labour ten, Independent having one and two being vacant before the results of yesterday’s voting were known.
Across the county The Conservatives won or held 26 seats while Labour had a large gain, winning 22.
The Liberal Democrats lost two seats while The Green Party now has two.
Independent councillors will now occupy three of the seats.
In what was the surprise result of the day Conservative councillor Alan Farnell, the council’s leader, lost his Weddington seat to Green Party member Keith Kondakor.
It was a good day for the Greens who now have their first two county councillors for Warwickshire.
Perhaps the most eye catching result in Warwick district was Green candidate Jonathan Chilvers’ win to take the seat in Leamington Brunswick which was previously held by Labour.
Mr Chilvers, who won with 1,156 votes compared to Barbara Weed (Labour) who had 533, said: “I’m delighted, I’m pleased to have taken our first county council seat in south Leamington and we also took one in Nuneaton as well.
“We put a lot of hard work in over the last two or three years and people really appreciate the personal touch.
“I live very locally, I’m always walking and cycling around the area and I think voters appreciate that.
For Labour John Holland took the Warwick West seat - which was previously held by Conservative councillor Clare Hopkinson who stood down - with 1,087 votes.
Having thanked all of those who voted for and supported him, Mr Holland said: “There are some really important problems to solve, the county council is responsible for children’s services, child protection and children’s centres which have been cut massively. For children’s centres funding you are looking at a 40 per cent cut heading for 50 per cent which means had the conservatives won they clearly would have been closed but we can fight to keep them open and to protect our most vulnerable children.
“We need to make sure care services for the elderly are of a good quality and there is a real problem with youth unemployment.
“We need to get everybody into jobs and those who are in jobs into better jobs.
“The big problem is the devastating £60 million yearly cuts which the Government is imposing on the council and clearly with Shire Hall being in Warwick it affects residents losing their jobs and the service they used to provide not being provided.
“In the budget recently George Osborne announced an additional £100 million cuts on Warwickshire and it’s absolutely vital we absolutely have got to win the parliamentary seat and get Lynette Kelly elected in two years’ time.”
Having secured the two seats available for Leamington North alongside fellow Liberal Democrat Nicola Davies, Cllr Sarah Boad said: “Obviously we’re delighted because although I’ve been re-elected this is the first time my colleague Nicola has stood and it was good to hold both seats.
“We got a majority of about 500 and considering the national situation where the Liberal Democrats were still in opposition four years ago I’m pleased we’ve held on so well.
“We have lost some seats which is very disappointing but there is a lot of change and a lot of new councillors from different parties so these are very interesting times.”
The Conservatives will elect a new leader within a fortnight and are unlikely to form a coalition with other parties, instead seeking to continue in power as a minority administration.
In Stratford district there were wins for Conservative councillors John Appleton, Chris Williams and Danny Kendall in Southam, Kineton and Wellesbourne respectively.
County Council Election results for Warwick district
Bishops Tachbrook: Les Caborn (Con) 1,104
Cubbington: Wallace Redford (Con) 1,077
Kenilworth Abbey: John Whitehouse (Lib Dem) 1,120
Kenilworth Park Hill: Dave Shilton (Con) 1,291
Kenilworth St John’s: Alan Cockburn (Con) 1,037
Leamington Brunswick: Jonathan Chilvers (Green) 1,156
Leamington Milverton: Bill Gifford (Lib Dem) 1,261
Leamington North: Sarah Boad (Lib Dem) 1,984 and Nicola Davies (Lib Dem) 1,804
Leamington Willes: Matt Western (Lab) 993
Leek Wootton: Jose Compton (Cons) 1,424
Warwick North: Jenny St John (Lab) 830
Warwick South: Angela Warner (Con) 1,010
Warwick West: John Holland (Lab) 1,087
Whitnash: Bernard Kirton (Whitnash Residents Association) 1,321