Greens hold balance of power after dramatic election night - The Worcester Observer

Greens hold balance of power after dramatic election night

Worcester Editorial 6th May, 2016 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016   0

THE CONSERVATIVES have lost overall control of Worcester City Council after a dramatic night at the Guildhall.

Although the Tories remain the largest party with 17 seats, Labour regained Warndon meaning the party moved to 16 seats and the Green Party welcomed its second councillor after Louis Stephen’s sensational victory in Battenhall.

Four years on from making history with the election of their first councillor, the Green Party made the headlines once again as Coun Stephen defeated former city Mayor Dr David Tibbutt to take the seat from the Conservatives.

The Green Party recorded a staggering 1,081 votes, up from just 155 in 2012, with the Conservatives trailing behind on 887.

It meant the Tories needed to regain either Cathedral or St Stephen to retain any hope of a majority but Coun Marc Bayliss saw his dreams dashed as both Coun Lynn Denham (Labour, Cathedral) and Coun Neil Laurenson (Green, St Stephen) increased their share of the votes.

Speaking after the result, Coun Bayliss told the Observer:  “It’s disappointing we’ve lost one seat, but overall not a lot has changed on the council. We are still the largest party with 17 seats.

“That’s because two opposition parties have worked together in order to combine to beat us.

“I fully expect them to work in power now with a private coalition and the Greens and Labour working together.

Labour group leader Coun Adrian Gregson hailed the results but refused to be drawn on any bid to seize power at the Guildhall.

“The Conservatives have the largest number of seats so the ball is in their court really,” he said.

“I think we need to take some time, to consider what different options are available but the Tories are currently in control and at the moment we will see what transpires over the next few days.”

Coun Stephen said his party would not ‘rule anything out’ and described his election as ‘amazing’.

“It’s not easy being Green, we have to fight really hard to get our votes. We don’t start off with 20 or 40 per cent; we start off with probably 8 or 10 per cent.

“To get to 40 per cent we have to work really hard and the Conservative Party spent a lot of time trying to combat us.

“We are going to have a meeting within our own Green members; we’ll discuss it with ourselves and then obviously start to discuss it with other political parties,” he added.

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