Labour’s grip on Chorley Council remains strong despite losing a seat to the Conservatives at the local elections.
Tory candidate Alan Cullens took Clayton-le-Woods West and Cuerden from Labour’s Dave Rogerson after a total recount.
Mr Cullens, the former Conservative candidate at the General Election in Chorley in 2010 - won by Labour’s Lindsay Hoyle, who held his seat on Thursday - polled 1,227 votes compared to Mr Rogerson’s 1,142 in a 69.59 per cent turnout. He is also a former executive member on Chorley Council.
The composition of the authority now stands Labour 31, Conservative 14, independent two.
Mr Cullens was not present at the count in Chorley Town Hall yesterday afternoon.
But Mr Rogerson said: “I’m disappointed. It was so close, over 1,000 people wanted me to continue.”
Asked what the thought the reason for his defeat was, he said: “I think it could have been the rush towards Cameron and group in the end.
“But I’ve given a good four years representing the people of Clayton-le-Woods West and Cuerden and I will continue to work with them over the next few years as an ordinary citizen.”
He said he would have to give some thought to whether he would stand again.
There was another close result in Euxton South which was held for the Conservatives by Debra Platt after two total recounts.
“Our strategy was to keep the councillors we have and possibly pick up a couple of seats and we have done exactly that, so we can’t ask for more.”Coun Paul Leadbetter, deputy leader of Chorley Conservatives
A delighted councillor Paul Leadbetter, deputy leader of Chorley’s Conservative group, said: “I’m really pleased.
“We gained Clayton-le-Woods West and Cuerden, which is good.
“We maintained Euxton South, which is a positive because Debra came a close second 12 months ago, and overall we are really pleased.
“Our strategy was to keep the councillors we have and possibly pick up a couple of seats and we have done exactly that, so we can’t ask for more.
“It’s onwards and upwards now.”
As for the overall make-up of the council, he said: “The Labour group do have a big majority, so in one year we are not going to make a massive impact, but it’s all about slowly working and doing our best and getting involved in the community and showing we have something to offer and getting the votes.”
Coun Alistair Bradley, leader of Chorley’s Labour group, said he was sad to lose “experienced and dedicated councillor” Dave Rogerson.
“We have had some very close battles and results that could have gone either way,” said councillor Bradley.
“We have lost one seat, but in the general picture across the country, Chorley has somewhat upped the trend by remaining a heavily Labour administration.
“We have some fantastic results in the town wards, but in the more rural areas the results went against us.”
He continued: “We hoped we might pick up one or two seats and given how close some results were, we could have picked them up with 30 or 40 more votes, but that’s what happens when general elections are held at the same time.
“We are generally happy with our share of the vote and the majority of the votes were cast for Labour candidates.”
The full results for Chorley Council are:
Adlington and Anderton
June Molyneaux Labour 1936
Philip Pilling Liberal Democrat 248
Stuart Rickaby UKIP 693
Charlotte Woods Conservative 1285
Astley and Buckshaw
Dan Croft Labour 1194
Jeffrey Flinders Mallinson UKIP 351
Mark Perks Conservative 1518
Steve Holgate Labour 899
Paul Leadbetter Conservative 1433
Terry Brown Labour 1861
Robert Daykin Green 148
Mike Devaney Conservative 642
Christopher Suart UKIP 554
Chorley North East
Claire Ashworth Green 159
Marion Lowe Labour 1651
Tom Norris Conservative 770
Thomas Shorrock UKIP 526
Chorley North West
Aaron Beaver Labour 1636
Peter Malpas Conservative 1321
Julia Smith UKIP 479
Chorley South East
Shaun Jones UKIP 578
Sarah Kiley Conservative 1130
David Porter Liberal Democrat 134
Paul Walmsley Labour 1812
Chorley South West
Harold Heaton Conservative 1087
Margaret Lees Labour 1855
Phillip Smith UKIP 646
Magda Cullens Conservative 1144
Stephen Fenn Liberal Democrat 255
Gillian Hargreaves Green 260
Steve Murfitt Labour 1404
Clayton-le-Woods West and Cuerden
Alan Cullens Conservative 1227
Dave Rogerson Labour 1142
Clayton-le-Woods and Whittle-le-Woods
Glenda Charlesworth Liberal Democrat 345
Mark Edward Clifford Labour 1585
David George Humphries UKIP 594
Gregory Ian Morgan Conservative 2061
Paul Clark Labour 1659
Joshua John Nelson Conservative 782
Mark Smith UKIP 695
Eccleston and Mawdesley
Martin William Boardman Conservative 1856
Helen Margaret Bradley Labour 1377
Richard Croll UKIP 442
Stuart Anthony Clewlow Labour 963
Phillip Hayward UKIP 334
Debra Platt Conservative 1017
Doreen Dickinson Conservative 1535
Stan Ely Labour 926