LCC elections 2017: Tories take over as Labour loses seats

Geoff Driver and other Conservatives celebrate at County Hall
Geoff Driver and other Conservatives celebrate at County Hall
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The Conservatives have gained control of Lancashire County Council after results across the county went against Labour.

In Wyre, the Tories won two new county seats, in Fleetwood and in Garstang. In Fylde, the party situation remained unchanged, with four Conservatives and two Independents claiming the area’s six seats.

The Conservatives have taken control of County Hall following the local elections

The Conservatives have taken control of County Hall following the local elections

See the full results in Fylde.
See the full results in Wyre.
The biggest shock was in Fleetwood, which has been a Labour stronghold for several years.

In the newly created seat of Fleetwood West and Cleveleys West, Labour lost one of their two county seats in the town, which has been a Labour stronghold for a number of years.

It is thought the seat, which had previously been Fleetwood West, became more marginal after it was re-drawn to include part of more Conservative-friendly Cleveleys.

And so it proved when Ruth Duffy, who is also Wyre Council’s Labour leader, lost by more than 500 votes to Conservative Stephen Clarke.

The other Tory gain saw independent councillor Sandra Perkins lose her Garstang seat, now re-named Wyre Rural East, to Conservative Shaun Turner.

Coun Stephen Clarke said at the Marine Hall, Fleetwood, where the count was held: “I’m delighted to win but there is a lot of hard work to do for the people of Fleetwood and Cleveleys.”

But Coun Lorraine Beavers, who won the Fleetwood East seat for Labour, said: “I will fight to protect the people of Fleetwood from the further rounds of cuts and austerity that are to come under the Tories. We’re in for a hard few years ahead.”

There was also a Tory win in Wyre Council’s Bourne ward by-election in Thornton, called when Labour councillor Natalie Reeve stood down through illness.

Conservative Emma Ellison won the seat, ahead of Labour’s Joanne Cooper and the Green Party’s Barbara Mead-Mason.

There was stir just before the results came in when Wyre Council leader, Conservative Peter Gibson, collapsed after fainting.

Paramedics attended and Coun Gibson, who lives in Poulton, left in an ambulance.

Garry Payne, chief executive of Wyre Council, said: “Peter fainted and we understand he is being checked over so he is OK.

“I would like to thank those attending, including those from different parties, for showing their concern and helping.”

For the Tories in Fylde, Tim Ashton retained Lytham, Peter Buckley was returned again in St Annes South and Paul Rigby was again victorious in Fylde West, while new candidate Ed Nash retained the St Annes South seat.

Meanwhile, Independents Liz Oades and Paul Hayhurst were again successful in Fylde East and Fylde West respectively.

County Coun Nash, a former St Annes town mayor who has served on Fylde Council since 2011, said: “We have a mountain to climb but I can’t wait to get going.

“We are delighted to have a working majority and there is much to do as well as much to undo.

“Sorting out the libraries situation is costed and budgeted and is a key priority while the talk on the doorsteps has been all about the moss road and how vital it is that we sort that out.”

He added: “Care for older people is also a key issue in our area.”