Labour stays in control in Chorley's local elections winning 14 of 17 seats up for grabs

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Labour has kept control in Chorley’s local elections winning 14 of the 17 seats up for grabs.

It only needed to win seven wards in order to remain ahead at the borough’s authority.

Labour members cheering the result

Labour members cheering the result

Meanwhile the Conservatives held onto two seats and lost one while Independent Ralph Snape held his seat in Chorley North West.

Leader of the Labour party Alistair Bradley said: “It’s been an amazing night. We had a high point four years ago when the Conservatives were split with Ukip.

“We’ve had a concerted contest tonight with the Conservatives and we now hold all the seats we currently had and we have gained two seats.

“I can be nothing but delighted with the results we have seen and this is a vindication of the council’s policies and the public support of those.”

Labour group leader Alistair Bradley with Chorley MP Sir Lindsay Hoyle

Labour group leader Alistair Bradley with Chorley MP Sir Lindsay Hoyle

Labour won over two wards - Neville Grant from Labour took the Clayton-le-Woods West and Cuerden ward from the Conservative’s Mick Muncaster and Labour’s Gillian Sharples won the ward for Euxton South.

Leader of the Conservative group Alan Cullens said: “We have a net loss of one seat but we can also take away some positives from tonight.

“There were a number of young candidates with recounts in Euxton South ward and Astley and Buckshaw ward. We halved the majority in Wheelton and Withnell and eight years into Government it’s never going to be easy.

“We’ll re-group on Monday and look forward to next year.”

Councillor Matt Lynch

Councillor Matt Lynch

Although there were no surprises expected from the election there were a couple of close calls between councillors from the Labour and Conservative groups.

Votes coming in for the Astley and Buckshaw ward were neck and neck as counting was underway and a recount was announced early in the night.

However after some nail biting Labour’s Matt Lynch held his seat - although only by 30 votes.

Matt had won 1,071 votes, coming just ahead of Aidy Riggot of the Conservative party who bagged 1,041.

Counting votes

Counting votes

“We knew it was going to be a close fight after the county election,” said Matt, whose majority fell to 30 from 167.

“Four years ago I came in with a firm view that we needed to address the balance between Astley and Buckshaw villages and make sure that all residents had got representation.

“I think we have achieved that.

“We have a completely new area of housing which wasn’t there four years ago and that will be an unknown element but we work hard - I’m delighted.”

Aidy said: “I’m disappointed I didn’t get over the line. I’m just going to focus on doing what I can.”

In another close contest Gillian Sharples of the Labour group won the Euxton South seat over the Conservative’s Phil Loynes by 11 votes. Mark Jarnell, of the National Health Action Party had not put his name in the hat to run for councillor in this year’s local elections.

Leader of the Conservative group Alan Cullens

Leader of the Conservative group Alan Cullens

Meanwhile Ralph Snape, a long-serving Independent councillor, held onto his seat.

“It’s thanks to the people,” he said. “They are the ones who do it for me.

“I have no intention of ever becoming political and joining any political party.

“It’s about being honest with people and telling them what you are capable of.”