RESULT: Conservatives take control of South Ribble

South Ribble’s Conservative party have sealed the majority vote to retain control of the council.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 8th May 2015, 10:51 pm
Council leader Margaret Smith leads her Conservative party as they celebrate a victory at South Ribble
Council leader Margaret Smith leads her Conservative party as they celebrate a victory at South Ribble

The Tories bagged 29 of the 50 seats up for grabs, compared to Labour’s 19 and the Liberal Democrats’ two

UKIP and the Greens failed to make much of an impression in the borough.

Council leader and leader of the Conservative party, Margaret Smith, said: “We’re very happy to retain control and continue the good work we’ve been doing - and there’s lots more we want to do.

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Council leader Margaret Smith leads her Conservative party as they celebrate a victory at South Ribble

“We are where we expected to be. We have lost a few good councillors and it’s always sad when you lose people, but overall, the group is pleased.”

Labour leader Matthew Tomlinson said: “We have roughly the same amount of seats as last time, so we’ve held our own.

“I’m disappointed we didn’t do better. We were strong in the areas where we knew we’d do well, like Leyland and Bamber Bridge, but we were unable to convert those areas where we thought we had a chance, which I think reflects the national picture.

“So it’s four more years as the opposition, but we’ve still got a very important job to do, and we will carry on.”

Labour managed to bag one ward from the Tories - Charnock in Penwortham.

The Liberal Democrats have two seats in Broad Oak and Howick and Priory, but the group’s leader, Tony Pimblett, lost his seat..

Mayor Graham Walton kept hold of his Farington West seat, and was joined by wife and mayoress Karen, maintaining Tory control of the area.

But Conservative stalwarts and former mayor Dorothy and Melvyn Gardner were booted out of their Charnock seats after a 12-year stint in favour of Ian Watkinson and Elizabeth Mawson.

New Longton and Hutton East, Longton and Hutton West, Samlesbury and Walton, Moss Side, Lostock Hall, Walton-le-Dale East and West, Buckshaw and Worden, Farington West, Hoole, and Coupe Green and Gregson Lane all followed the national trend and will remain Tory patches.

South Ribble Labour leader Matthew Tomlinson retained his seat as Broadfield councillor.

But he was pipped to the polling top spot by fellow Labour man and Broadfield ward councillor Mick Titherington who amassed 1373 votes, 81 more than the Labour leader’s tally.

Labour also have control of Bamber Bridge East and West, Charnock, Middleforth, Broadfield, Leyland Central, Seven Stars, and St Ambrose.

The wards of Broad Oak, Earnshaw Bridge, and Farington East are all split.

Council leader and Tory leader Margaret Smith retained her New Longton and Hutton East seat with a mammoth 1,739 votes.

Her husband Phil Smith was also re-elected after bagging 1604 votes. The Tory power couple’s nearest opposition Labour candidate Anne Brown managed 637 votes.

It follows a night of tension at Leyland’s Civic Centre which saw Tory Seema Kennedy elected as South Ribble’s new MP.