IT WAS a double victory for Labour as they have won both seats in the Redditch by elections.
Redditch Labour Party said they are proud to have won both these seats for Labour – a borough seat in Headless Cross and Oakenshaw, and a County seat in Arrow Valley West.
Juliet Barker Smith, a local school teacher, won the seat of Headless Cross and Oakenshaw by 81 votes.
This delivered a huge blow to local Conservatives who had held the seat for over 20 years.
She said: “I am overwhelmed with the trust the people of our Ward have given, and promise that as your new councillor you have my full commitment to this post.
“Thank you everyone who voted. You have started a change in our town. I’ll do my best to be there to support you through it.”
Coun Andy Fry, who already sits on the Borough Council for Lodge Park Ward was elated to win back the county seat he lost in 2021.
He said: “I give my thanks to the people of Arrow Valley West for returning me to the County Council.
“Whilst on the campaign trail it was clear that residents wanted to feel valued and listened to. Public transport issues were high on the agenda, alongside concerns that Worcestershire County Council will be backing plans to demolish the town centre library.
“I will stand up for my residents on these important issues.”
Coun Joe Baker, leader of the Labour Group, said: “This is an amazing victory for us here at Redditch Labour.
“I would like to thank everyone involved in the elections and the count, but most importantly all I have to thank those electors who went out and voted Labour.
“I welcome our new Labour Borough Councillor to my team. Juliet Barker Smith has worked so hard and thoroughly deserves her win. This seat has not been Labour since 1997.
“Congratulations must also go to Andy Fry. Worcestershire County Council now has a fantastic and experienced Councillor who will be an effective Labour voice for Redditch.”