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By Carl Jackson Friday 03 May 2013 Updated: 05/05 04:59
THE CONSERVATIVES have lost three Bromsgrove seats following the county elections, with Labour gaining two and an unexpected win for an Independent candidate.
After the votes were counted at Bromsgrove District Council house this morning (Friday, May 3) the Tories had held four of the area's nine divisions; Alvechurch, Bromsgrove Central, Bromsgrove East and Woodvale.
Labour maintained Beacon and gained Bromsgrove South and Bromsgrove West seats from its rivals.
Stephen Peters (Wythall Rate Payers) accumulated the largest area vote ensuring he was re-elected in Wythall.
The biggest surprise was Independent candidate Rachel Jenkins snatching the Clent division from Tory Ed Moore, with many suspecting she had gained popularity on back of opposing a large housing development in Hagley.
Meanwhile the emerging UK Independence Party received strong backing with two of their four candidates fielded across Bromsgrove coming second in their respective divisions.
Overall turnout throughout the area was down by nine per cent from the last polls in 2009 with less than 23,000 people voting this time around.
Peter McDonald, the council's Labour group leader, admitted before the counts he would be 'lucky' to hold on to Beacon, however he managed to do so with a vastly improved majority than four years ago.
He once again triumphed over Richard Deeming (Con), this time by 339 votes compared to 32 at the last election.
Labour's Chris Bloore achieved a significant swing in Bromsgrove South which had been vacated by Maddy Bunker (Con) who won by 377 votes in 2009.
Coun Bloore received 355 more than his nearest rival Rod Laight (Con).
Luke Mallett (Lab) earned the second biggest majority in the area taking Bromsgrove West by a gap of 705 from Conservative's Diane Cambell.
Tory candidate Kit Taylor had earned a marginal 7 vote victory in the division in 2009. A decision to move him to the 'safer' seat in Bromsgrove East vacated by Emma Moffett (Con) paid off as he earned 314 more votes than second placed UKIP challenger Owen Davies.
However the so called 'protest party' ran Alvechurch victor June Griffiths (Con) close with the UKIP candidate Julie Flynn coming within 77 votes.
Anthony Blagg (Con) was re-elected in Bromsgrove Central although he saw his 279 majority in 2009 reduced to 167 this time with Labour's Margaret Buxton coming second followed closely by George Flynn (UKIP).
It was a happy day all round for the Blagg household as Anthony's wife Sheila Blagg maintained Woodvale by 399 votes over Labour's Bernard McEldowney - a slightly reduced majority from 471 last time.
The biggest surprise was in Clent where Independent Rachel Jenkins ousted Tory Ed Moore by 515. Mr Moore himself earned a respectable 873 votes and had romped home by a 1,315 majority in 2009.
Finally Stephen Peters (Wythall Rate Payers) was re-elected in Wythall. His 1,803 votes earned him the largest majority in the Bromsgrove area of 1,115.
The Conservatives lost seats throughout Worcestershire but remained in overall control in the council with 30 candidates elected.
Labour now have 12 councillors, four times more than they managed four years ago.
Liberal Democrats saw their eight strong group reduced to three and there are now 12 independent members including four UKIP representatives.
For reaction to the 2013 Worcestershire County Council elections read next week's Bromsgrove Standard out on Friday, May 10.
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