LANCASTER CITY COUNCIL ELECTION RESULTS: Labour biggest party

Election 2015.

Election 2015.

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Labour bounced back from their night of disappointment in the General Election to be the largest party on Lancaster City Council but were short of an overall majority.

Labour won 29 seats, Conservatives 19, Greens nine, with three independents (two of which were Morecambe Bay Independents). There are 60 wards in total.

This means Labour were two seats short of an overall majority.

After the last election, they formed a coalition with the Greens to run the council cabinet.

But long-serving Labour councillor Abbott Bryning could not say if this would happen again.

“We have a meeting on Monday night,” said Councillor Bryning.

“No doubt it will get discussed.”

For full results click HERE

Voters went to the polls in the local elections on Thursday at the same time as the General Election.

The count began at 9am on Saturday at Salt Ayre Sports Centre for the Lancaster City Council and parish council elections, which includes Morecambe Town Council.

The first result came in 10.30am with Paul Woodruff, free independent, retaining his Halton-with-Aughton seat on the city council.

Councillor Woodruff was elected for the fifth time in 22 years as a councillor although he said this was his closest vote yet as the Green party candidate Bob Bould was only 154 votes behind.

“I’m absolutely delighted although my knees are shaking,” said Coun Woodruff, who runs an outdoor sandwich bar at the Crook o’Lune.

“There is a lot of movement towards the Greens in Halton. But I’m really proud that people are willing to go on again with the old fella!

“We’ve lost the western side of the village to the M6 link and I’m now keen to make sure the village doesn’t expand towards the east and take up the greenfield area. Housing needs to be brownfield.”

Veteran councillor Roger Mace won the first Tory seat of the day, retaining in Kellet ward with a 766 majority over Labour candidate Jean Taylor.

The former council leader thanked staff at local polling stations and his wife of 40 years, Joyce.

Two Greens, Dave Brookes and Nick Wilkinson, got their party on the board with wins in Castle ward.

Greens swept the board in Bulk ward with wins for Tim Hamilton-Cox, Caroline Jackson and Andrew Kay.

The new mayor, Councillor Jon Barry, won for the Greens in Marsh, alongside Rebecca Novell.

Councillor Barry said: “There’s only one thing on my mind at the moment, and that’s does anybody know where I can get a really cheap second-hand mayor’s outfit?”

Nigel Goodrich, husband of Nancy Goodrich, the vicar of Bolton-le-Sands, won for the Conservatives in Silverdale.

“We’re over the moon with yesterday’s result in the General Election, no-one really expected that outcome,” he said.

Tory leader Peter Williamson also won in Upper Lune Valley, as did Susan Sykes in Warton and outgoing mayor Susie Charles in Ellel, alongside her fellow Conservative Helen Helme.

Labour gained their first city council seats of the day with wins for Margaret Pattison and Ron Sands in Heysham North.

“Hooray! I love being a councillor,” said Coun Pattison from the stage.

“Four years ago I didn’t know a lot about Lancaster City Council but with what they and the community have taught me, a know quite a lot now.”

Leader of Lancaster City council, Eileen Blamire, retained her John o’Gaunt seat for Labour.

“For years the leader of Lancaster City Council has lost their seat in the next election,” said Councillor Blamire.

“Now I’ve broken the duck.

“I have sympathy for those who have lost their seats having worked on the council for 28 years.”

Her fellow Labour candidates Liz Scott and Richard Newman-Thompson also won in John o’Gaunt.

Labour also swept the board in Skerton East with Robert Redfern, Janet Hall and Abbott Bryning, who has been a councillor since 1966 and will mark his half-century on council next year, winning the vote.

Patricia Whitehead and James Leyshon also won in Scotforth East for Labour.

In the Lancaster University and Scotforth Rural ward, Labour candidates Lucy Atkinson and Matt Mann won seats, as did Green Sam Armstrong.

Jack Filmore who was also standing for the Greens in the ward, congratulated his colleague on his win.

Jack said: “I am very glad our candidate Sam Armstrong got elected, disappointing we didn’t get two or three seats, I think it is a real great achievement to keep that one seat though.”

David Smith, Tracy Brown and Clare Cozler won for Labour in Westgate ward.

During his victory speech, David Smith described Morecambe MP David Morris as “the lesser spotted Tory”.

Mr Morris, as well as new Lancaster Labour MP Cat Smith and Amina Lone, Mr Morris’ Labour challenger in Thursday’s General Election, were all present during the local elections count.

Alan Biddulph and Colin Hartley for Labour, and Tory Stuart Bateson won in Heysham South. Conservative Richard Rollins and Michael Greenall, MBI, lost their seats.

Andrew Warriner, also the leader of Morecambe brass band, won in Torrisholme for Labour. Phillippa Williamson of the Conservatives had the highest vote in Torrisholme. Sitting Morecambe Bay Independents Roger Dennison and Geoff Marsland lost their seats on council.

Former Lancaster Guardian chief reporter Rob Devey won in Skerton West, alongside fellow Labour candidates Karen Leytham and Roger Sherlock.

Geoff Knight won a closely-fought Heysham Central seat by 18 votes for the Morecambe Bay Independents (MBIs) beating Carla Brayshaw of Labour, who was also elected. She beat her husband David Brayshaw, chairman of Morecambe Carnival committee, into third by a single vote.

Councillor Knight said the MBIs were “victims of the General Election” being held on the same day as the local elections, because people were voting for national parties.

“Twelve years ago we were the largest party on Lancaster City Council,” he said.

“We can be that again. We need to regroup.”

Look back on an eventful day in our live blog HERE

In Bare, Tories Charles Edwards and Brett Cooper were elected, and MBI June Ashworth was re-elected. MBIs Shirley Burns and Tony Anderson lost their seats.

Andrew Gardiner, who defeated Keith Sowden in Overton to win the seat for the Conservatives, said: “I will carry on Keith’s commitment to the people of Overton, Middleton and Sunderland Point, and also for Morecambe we will get the money that we deserve to make it a prosperous town.”

Conservatives also won the new Bolton-and-Slyne seat, with fish and chip shop owner John Wild, Malcolm Thomas and Sylvia Rogerson elected. Long standing Independent councillor Keith Budden lost his seat on council for the first time in 20 years.

Mr Budden said: “It’s been a long road. I could make excuses but I simply didn’t get enough votes.

“Now I’ve got some fishing to do, I’ve got to improve my aim at clay pigeon shooting, and I’m going on holiday to Turkey for two weeks on Monday, and it will be gin and tonics all the way!”

Tories won all three seats in Carnforth and Millhead, with Peter Yates MBE, Carnforth railway station campaigner, one of those elected alongside Mel Guilding and Chris Leadbetter.

Councillor Leadbetter said: “We’ve all put in an awful lot of work. I am pleased we have got in. We need to speak up for Carnforth. Carnforth always comes last.”

Deposed former Labour councillor Paul Gardner said: “We are very disappointed.

“It seems to me the Conservatives are on a bit of a flow. The worry is that the Tory councillors will do the dirty work of central government.”

Tories Joan Jackson and Jane Parkinson won in Lower Lune Valley.

Councillor Parkinson said: “A message to the Labour councillors, we’re coming!”

Brendan Hughes won in Poulton, alongside fellow Labour candidate Terrie Metcalfe.

The final seat to be declared was Scotforth West, after a recount.

Sheila Denwood and Ronnie Kershaw (Labour), and Abi Mills (Green) were elected.

Turn out in the city council election was 64.51%, with the highest percentage turn out in Silverdale at 79.09% followed by Kellet (77.51%) and Upper Lune Valley (76.93%), Lower Lune Valley (76.23%),

Turn out was much lower in Morecambe wards Harbour (54.35%), Heysham North (52.64%), Westgate (56.2%) with the lowest in Poulton (51.52%).

Roger Dennison, leader of the Morecambe Bay Independents, said earlier in the day: “Given what happened nationally, it’s going to be a very difficult one to call.

“I don’t think anybody can be confident at this moment in time. It’s going to be a very long day.

When asked how he felt about the result of the General Election, Mr Dennison said: “All I can quote is President Bill Clinton, ‘it’s the economy, stupid’.”

David Brayshaw standing for Morecambe Town Council in Heysham South Ward is still “gutted” about the “shock result” nationally and locally.

“I am still a bit gutted that Amina Lone didn’t get in, it feels like it has ripped the heart out of the election.

“It was an unbelievable and a shock result yesterday for me, locally everything was looking positive right up to the count, it was a shock that David Morris extended his term.”