ELECTIONS 2024 - 'Red-ditch' as Labour takes thumping majority on Borough Council - The Redditch Standard

ELECTIONS 2024 - 'Red-ditch' as Labour takes thumping majority on Borough Council

Redditch Editorial 3rd May, 2024 Updated: 3rd May, 2024   0

LABOUR has taken back control of Redditch Borough Council with a massive 15 seat majority.

The council is now made up of 21 Labour, 5 Conservatives and 1 Green councillor on a memorable night for the party which was in opposition just 24 hours ago.

It was a miserable night for the Conservatives who started yesterday with 16 councillors – they have a net loss of 11.

And there was something to smile about for the Green Party which took its first seat in Webheath and Callow Hill.

This was the first all-out election for the borough council and Labour capitalised to the full.

New leader of the Council, Coun Joe Baker, told the Standard: “It’s a great mandate and we will be doing all the things we said we were going to.

“The library will be staying where it is in its current building.

“The town hall will remain as a hub without the library, the outdoor market will be returning and we will put the council on a sound financial footing.

“This will be a fresh start for Redditch.”

When asked about the size of the victory, he added: “I didn’t expect a victory of this magnitude and the hard work really does start now.

“I have a fantastic team who have worked so hard – this result is down to two years of dedication to the cause.

“We have talked to people, listened to people and produced a manifesto that puts people at the centre of it.”

He thanked his candidates, their families, the voters, returning officer Sue Hanley and everyone who made the election possible.

His comments were echoed by Coun Matt Dormer, Conservative Party leader, who also gave thanks to everyone.

He congratulated Coun Baker and the Labour Party and said he felt the result was down to the national picture.

“Unfortunately we have lost some wonderful councillors and candidates this evening.”

He told those who had been defeated to not take things personally, adding it was ‘the way things were’

He said the Conservative councillors had done an amazing job and this was no reflection on their performance.

And he vowed the Conservatives would be back although he admitted ‘it would be a long road’.

‘The wheels are in motion.”

Redditch’s new Green Party councillor Claire Davies fought back the happy tears and said: “I’m standing here on the shoulders of an amazing team of volunteers who have fought hard to get a Green voice on the council.”

She spoke of her pride of being elected to the authority and thanked everyone for their support.

In each ward, the councillor with the most votes will serve four years, the second three years and the third two years.

05.00 results for Headless Cross and Oakenshaw Ward

Tom Baker-Price (Conservative) – 921

Juliet Barker Smith (Labour) – 1,192 – ELECTED

Roger Bennet (Conservative) – 785

Stuart Davies (Green) – 290

Andrew Field-Roxborough (Lib Dem) – 158

Edward Killworth (Lib Dem) – 159

David Munro (Labour) – 1,070 – ELECTED

Helen Sanders (Conservative) – 788

Ian Woodall (Labour) –  1088    – ELECTED 

04.58 – Labour currently have 18 seats with the Conservatives on 5 and the Greens on 1. That looks like a pretty big mandate from the electorate to implement their policies. Three seats left to be declared but no way back for the Conservatives now.


04.51 – results for North Ward

Karen Ashley (Conservative) – 886

Mike Chalk (Conservative) – 734

Bill Hartnett (Labour) – 1,027 – ELECTED

Jo Heaselgrave (Green) – 204

Sid Khan (Labour) – 929 – ELECTED

Kerry Simons (Conservative) – 639

Monica Stringfellow (Labour) – 1,021 – ELECTED

Mark Tomes (Lib Dem) – 261


04.49 – results for Winyates Ward

Clare Beckhelling (Green) – 318

Amanda Canning (Conservative) – 880

Luke Court (Conservative) – 890

Julian Grubb (Conservative) – 797

John Marsh (Lib Dem) – 247

Alan Mason (Labour) -941 – ELECTED

Rita Rogers (Labour) – 949 – ELECTED

Jen Snape (Labour) – 946  – ELECTED


04.44 – results for Webheath and Callow Hill Ward

Salman Akbar (Conservative) – 886

Margot Bish (Green) – 859

Claire Davies (Green) – 948 – ELECTED

Matt Dormer (Conservative) – 1,101 – ELECTED

Monica Fry (Labour) – 482

Ann Gee (Lib Dem) – 125

Mark Harvey (Labour) – 470

Sharon Howard (Green) – 603

Hannah McGahan (Labour) – 541

Gemma Monaco (Conservative) – 994 – ELECTED

A relieved Matt Dormer who was the council leader before tonight holds onto his seat.

Coun Matt Dormer holds a seat on the council but it does not look like he will be leading the authority. The Greens have taken their first seat on the council and the other seat was held by Conservative Gemma Monaco.

04.38 – Just been for a breath of fresh air in between declarations and the dawn chorus is in full swing. Looks like there could be a political new dawn in Redditch, judging by the results so far.

04.26 – RUNNING TOTAL – Labour win another three seats putting them on 12 with the Conservatives on three. No other parties have taken any seats. Labour are now in touching distance of taking control of the council. With 27 seats available, they would only need two more for a majority.

04.23 – results for Batchley and Brockhill Ward

Sarah Allmark (Lib Dem) – 165

Joe Baker (Labour) – 1,061 – ELECTED

Lucy Harrison (Conservative) – 643

Finlay Heath (Conservative) – 543

Wanda King (Labour) – 905 – ELECTED

Chris Marshall (Conservative) – 483

Sachin Mathur (Labour) – 893 – ELECTED

Martin Mcleod (Lib Dem) – 178

Kerrie Miles (Lib Dem) – 280

Lea Room (Green) – 193

Labour leader Coun Joe Baker held onto his seat in the Batchley and Brockhill ward. Lucy Harrison (Conservative) was standing in the same ward where she was a councillor but lost her seat. Kerrie Miles (Lib Dem) lost her seat – she was formerly Labour but defected to the Liberal Democrats. The other two Labour winners – Wanda King and Sachin Mathur – are new councillors.

04.15 – The story so far – Labour – 9 seats, Conservatives 3, Lib Dems – 0, Green Party – 0


04.13 results for Astwood Bank and Feckenham Ward

Brandon Clayton (Conservative) – 1,036 – ELECTED

Gilly Cooper (Labour) – 896

David Gee (Lib Dems) – 198

Malcolm William (Lib Dem) – 174

Chris Holz (Conservative) – 900 – ELECTED

Colin Smith (Labour) – 724

Matt Smith (Labour) – 776

Glen Theobald (Green) – 277

Craig Warhurst (Conservative) – 1,054 – ELECTED

Finally something to cheer for the blue half of the room. All three Conservatives who won in this ward were sitting councillors in different wards. Craig Warhurst  and Brandon Clayton (Astwood Bank and Feckenham) and Chris Holz (Crabbs Cross).


04.07 – results for Matchborough and Woodrow Ward

Juliet Brunner (Independent) -358

Theo Ellinas (Conservative) – 537

James Fardoe (Labour) – 860 – ELECTED

Kathryn Manning (Green) – 214

Emma Marshall (Conservative) – 543

Jane Spilsbury (Labour) – 888 – ELECTED

Diane Thomas (Lib Dem) – 141

Andy Thompson (Lib Dem) – 96

Nathan Winter (Conservative) – 423

Paul Wren (Labour) – 819 – ELECTED

Another three seats for Labour on what is turning out to be a memorable night for them. Jane Spilsbury (Labour) was a councillor on the now-defunct Matchborough ward. James Fardoe (Labour) held his seat on the council (formerly in a different ward). Paul Wren is a new Labour councillor. Emma Marshall (Conservative) was in Greenlands but has now lost her seat on the council

Conservative comisserations – MP Rachel Maclean consoles the defeated candidates.


04.01 – Current standings (six seats) – Labour – 6, Conservatives – 0, Lib Dems – 0, Green Party – 0


03.55 – results for Central Ward

William Boyd (Labour) –  1,007 – ELECTED

Glenn Harris (Lib Dem) 215

Sharon Harvey (Labour) 1032 – ELECTED

David Heaselgrave (Green) – 279

Roy Magara (Lib Dem) – 162

Ummar Memi (Conservative) – 354

Sully Mohammed (Conservative) – 344

Junior Qadeer (Conservative) – 326

Gary Slim (Labour) – 956 – ELECTED

So, after two declarations, Labour have taken all six seats. The Central ward previously had two councillors – one was Coun Sharon Harvey (LAB) who held her seat, the other was Imran Altaf (Conservative) who did not stand this time. This new-look Central ward now has three Labour councillors.

Labour candidates and supporters celebrate taking central ward. s


03.39 – results for Greenlands and Lakeside Ward

Juma Begum (Labour) – 1,023 – ELECTED

Susan Clarke (Conservative) 571

Peter Fleming (Conservative) 517

Andrew Fry (Labour), 1,177 – ELECTED 

Joanna Kane (Labour) 1,078 – ELECTED 

Timothy Pearman (Conservative) – 550

Jade Taylor (Lib Dem) – 201

Kevin White (Green) – 275

All three elected councillors have held seats – before the changes Juma Begum and Joanna Kane represented Greenlands, and Andy Fry represented Lodge Park. Good start for Labour, holding on to three seats with double the amount of votes for each candidate. The turnout for Greenlands and Lakeside was 26.17 per cent.

Sue Hanley declares Greenlands and Lakeside as the candidates watch on. Picture – copyright Bullivant Media Group. s

Background to tonight’s count

Every seat on the council up for grabs in the first all-out election since the new ward boundary changes.

Previously a third of the council was elected each year with just one in four having no election.

There are now nine wards across the borough with each one being represented by three councillors (27 seats in total).


03.34 – Big cheer on the far side of the room, made us all stand up and look. But it was just the counters. Hopefully that means one result is ready. Just been informed the first result is imminent.


03.28 – Current national results (while we wait for something to happen here) – Labour up 38 seats across the country, Conservatives down 73, Lib Dems up 7, Independents up 21, Greens up 7.


03.21 – This – being the first all-out election – was always going to take longer than the couple of hours it took last year.  But the ‘counted’ vote piles are neatly stacking up so hopefully the first declaration is not too far away.


02.55 – Speaking to a high profile Labour member earlier, he was quite confident ahead of the results. The Conservative leader on the other hand, remaining tight-lipped. Looking at the latest national picture may explain it – Labour currently up 26 seats across the country at this moment – the Conservatives down 56. Gains also for the Lib Dems, Greens and Independents elsewhere in the UK. Will this count reflect those trends? Hopefully we’ll start to have some idea soon……


02.52 – It’s all gone a bit lethargic here in the room as we await the first declaration. But usually, speaking from experience, the results start coming thick and fast once the first one is declared.


01.51 – voter turnout across the borough is 29.45 per cent.


01.48 – the votes have been verified and the count is now beginning.

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