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16th Jun, 2021

Leader so proud as Tories gain majority control of city council

Rob George 14th May, 2021

GUILDHALL leader Coun Marc Bayliss has revealed his delight at the party’s success in the city council elections after the Tories gained three Labour seats.

Worcester’s Conservatives now have a majority of one after Labour endured another pasting at the polls, having also lost six of its nine county council seats.

Long-serving former councillor Roger Berry and Labour’s former Parliamentary candidate Joy Squires were among those to lose their seats in Saturday’s count.

Labour now have just 11 councillors compared to the Tories 18 and speaking after the results, Coun Bayliss praised his party for its efforts.

“We’ve seen some fantastic results in Worcester and I am so proud of my team,” he said.

“I’m delighted with the work everyone has done to enable us to take control of the city council with a majority.”

After comfortably holding the Bedwardine seat, Labour were rocked when Joy Squires was defeated by almost 250 votes to the new Green Party member for the Arboretum, Coun Karen Lewing.

Coun Robyn Norfolk retained St John’s for Labour despite a strong Tory challenge, with the Conservatives slashing a 500-plus vote lead to just 178 while Coun Lynn Denham held the swing Cathedral seat for Labour by 40 votes.

“These were a unique set of elections in many ways. The pandemic meant that we had last year’s elections this year all at the same time,” Coun Denham said.

“Putting a cross on a voting slip is the bedrock of any democracy. Thank you to everyone who took the trouble to do so. We respect the results and appreciate the conversations that we have been able to have on the doorstep in recent weeks.

“Worcester Labour Councillors remain dedicated to serving all residents in our areas and working to build back fairer for the whole city.”

The Liberal Democrats continued their Claines comeback as Coun Karen Lawrance became the party’s second councillor in the ward, taking a seat from the Tories.

Former MEP Jim Carver has made a return to front-line politics as the Conservatives picked up almost all of the former UKIP vote in Nunnery from 2017 to win the seat from Labour.

It was a trend replicated in Gorse Hill which went fully blue three years after the Conservatives’ first victory in the ward and 24 hours after the party took the county council seat for the area.

Coun James Stanley unseated Roger Berry in the seat and former UKIP candidate Owen Cleary took the party to a Guildhall majority when he won in Warndon.

County council leader Coun Simon Geraghty won his St Clement seat and Labour group leader Coun Adrian Gregson retained his Rainbow Hill seat.

Worcester’s Green Party enjoyed a day to remember with both Coun Louis Stephen and Coun Neil Laurenson enjoying a surge in their share of the vote to retain Battenhall and St Stephen.

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