The Conservatives have strengthened their hold on Warwickshire County Council with their leader saying the party will 'continue to deliver common sense politics'.
Cllr Izzi Seccombe spoke after retaining her seat in the south of the county and reflected on an excellent day at the polls as they increased their majority, securing 42 of the 57 seats - six more than in the 2017 election.
“We have the majority and I’m delighted to have been returned myself - it’s always nerve-wracking,” she explained.
“But I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank-you to those who won’t be returning to Shire Hall after giving so much of their time - not only for the county council but also for their residents. Whatever the colour or political persuasion it has been great to work with people who have looked after their residents.
“I have been very sad to say goodbye to many who are retiring - you work with people for many years and they become close friends so I will be sad to see them leave. However, it is always exciting to see new faces - many of them rather younger than mine. What will be great will be finding roles for people and finding out their particular interests and what they want to achieve.”
Cllr Seccombe admitted it had been a tough year and that it was important to help Warwickshire’s fightback.
She added: “It has been a really tough year for very many people. There have been a lot of people who have been worried about work, businesses worried about their future. I think we have a responsibility try to get them in a stable position and get jobs back - really good jobs, ones that give people opportunities and ambition.
“We are not going to change the way we are going to do things. For me it has always been about common sense politics. What makes sense to families and what makes sense to me - I’m just an ordinary voter.”
And she added she hoped to continue working with the other parties going forward.
“Sometimes big majorities can be a difficult thing but my leadership style has always been about trying to bring people together and that is what I will continue to do. As long as they want me to lead this show I will be happy to do that on that basis.”
Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats suffered losses across Warwickshire.
Labour lost both their leader and deputy leader - Helen Adkins (Leamington Willes) and Dave Parsons (Polesworth) - as their share of seats fell from ten at the last election to six. The Lib Dems secured just five seats, three fewer than in 2017 and lost former county council chair Nicola Davies (Leamington Clarendon).
The Greens lost deputy leader Keith Kondakor (Weddington) but won two new seats to take their tally to three while the Whitnash Residents Association retained their solitary seat.
FINAL RESULTS FOR THE WHOLE OF WARWICKSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL
Conservative 42 (36 in 2017)
Labour 6 (10 in 2017)
Liberal Democrats 5 (8 in 2017)
Greens 3 (2 in 2017)
Whitnash Res Ass 1 (1 in 2017)