BIG gains by the Lib Dems across Stratford district were reflected in Alcester and Studley where two seats were gained at the expense of the ruling Conservative group.
In Alcester Town former district chair Sue Adams was defeated by veteran Lib Dem campaigner Susan Juned while in Studley and Mappleborough Green Justin Kerridge, the Conservative chair of the West planning committee, was defeated by Lib Dem candidate Peter Hencher-Serafin.
Meanwhile in Studley and Sambourne the seat of retiring village champion and district councillor Hazel Wright was retained by A435 traffic campaigner Neil Edden.
A delighted Susan Juned said: “I’m chuffed – footsore but chuffed. I covered a lot of miles in this election and talked to an awful lot of people.
“I’ve been around for a long time and people know me and I thoroughly enjoyed getting out there and chatting to residents on the doorstep.”
The message she got was a simple one that went straight to the heart of people’s concerns.
“There was a general level of disatisfaction with a whole lot of things,” she said.
“For instance, low level of police numbers, petty crime and social care, and although these aren’t areas covered by the district it shows that people’s daily lives are being affected by a whole range of things.”
Studley veteran Councillor Hazel Wright, who was standing down, co-ordinated the Lib Dem campaign in Studley, Mappleborough Green and Sambourne and said she was delighted at the result.
“I couldn’t believe it, but both Peter and Neil worked very hard and it’s they who made it happen.”
She put the key to their success down to fielding candidates who were community people who understood and appreciated the areas they represented.
“If you talk to people they will tell you what is right and what is wrong,” she said.
Then of course, there is the Redditch Eastern Gateway development.
“I’ve been quite active over the Eastern Gateway and whatever the developers say about not routing traffic along the A435 it’s still going to go down the Bromsgrove Road and those people deserve just as much consideration and equality as those living along the Alcester Road,” she said.
“At district level I’ve also taken issue with the decision to take that parcel of land out of the Green Belt for the development. It just is not right.”
Defeated Conservative candidate Justin Kerridge who was defending Studley and Mappleborough Green said: “I’ve just been really humbled to work with some incredible people in Studley.
“Even though I’m a ‘foreigner’ and live in Sambourne I’ve enjoyed a wonderful and productive four years working with people and being part of what they do.
“I still intend to be involved in the community, albeit in the background but I will still be sticking my oar in.”
Alcester and Rural – Turnout 42.80 per cent
Mark Cargill+ – Conservative 712 – elected
Carolyn Evans – Liberal Democrats 197
Andrew Foster – Labour 211
Mike Mordue – Green 107
Alcester Town – Turnout 34.70 per cent
Sue Adams+ – Conservative 304
Jake Hotson – Green 57
Susan Juned – Liberal Democrats 482 – elected
Emma Whiteford – Labour 70
Kinwarton – Turnout 42.21%
Lynn Bowring – Liberal Democrats 302
Gill Forman – Conservative 520 – elected
Kathrin Foster – Labour 57
Tess Venus – Green 82
Studley with Mappleborough Green – Turnout 34.72%
Wayne Bates – Labour 89
Peter Hencher-Serafin – Liberal Democrats 447 – elected
Justin Kerridge* – Conservative 395
Victoria Widdowson – Green 92
Studley with Sambourne – Turnout 34.34%
Paul Beaman – Conservative 367
Neil Edden – Liberal Democrats 424 – elected
Val Gaize – Green 105
Chris Pilkington – Labour 103
The current political standings of the Council’s 36 seats are:
Conservatives – 20 seats
Liberal Democrats – 11 seats
Independent – 4 seats
Green – 1