THE CONSERVATIVES held onto Bromsgrove District Council with a majority of five seats.
It was a completely clean slate for those standing after boundary changes saw a new make-up of the authority which now has 31 members across 30 wards.
Previously, there were 39 seats across 23 wards.
Now, 29 of the wards have one-seat each, with one ward – Belbroughton and Romsley – having two.
And, under the new-look council, the Tories were made to wait before their overall control of the authority was confirmed.
That happened with just four seats to go.
The final result was 18 seats to the Conservatives, seven to Labour, three to the Wythall Residents Association and three independents.
The leader of the council, Margaret Sherrey, and chairman June Griffiths were both returned, but three Conservative cabinet members lost their seats.
One of those was Mark Bullivant – after being defeated by just four votes, his Hollywood ward would have been one of the closest in the country, never mind the district.
He said: “It has been nice to have fought and four votes can be as many as 600 at the end of the day.”
Coun Sherrey said: “I think there have been lots of surprises for everyone.
“I would have appreciated if it would have been a cleaner fight because in some wards it has been quite dirty which is sad.
“The boundary changes altered the overall picture.
“I would like to pay tribute to all of the councillors who lost seats.
“It was hard to lose three members of my cabinet, especially after the team work we had developed.
“We have also got some new talent joining the ranks and I’m looking forward to working with those new faces.”
She added she hoped to carry on as leader and continue the work she had started over the last 12 months.
On the other side of the chamber, influential Labour candidate Rory Shannon lost his seat on the council, after standing in the Aston Fields ward.
“Obviously I am personally disappointed, but I do feel national issues have taken precedent over local issues.
“I really enjoyed campaigning for Aston Fields and I’m sure it won’t be the last time people see me as I live in the village and plan to continue campaigning on local issues.
“I was shocked by the overall outcome, with the feeling on the national opinion polls which gave us a different perspective to the result that was shown.
“I think the council – considering the numbers – all looks up for grabs.
“The Conservatives haven’t had a resounding success and actually now, the Labour Group and the Wythall Residents Association, will be able to hold the current council to account.”
Labour leader Luke Mallett said: “It has been a long day. I think it is clearly a big change on the Conservative council.
“Three members of the cabinet have lost their seats and new Labour councillors have been allocated to the council.
“We are still determined to get Bromsgrove a better deal from this council over the next four years.
“We know the Conservatives were unpopular locally.
“We knew they failed Bromsgrove in terms of the town centre regeneration.
“We are now determined to get a change in Bromsgrove.”
And he paid tribute to Rory Shannon, saying: “We have lost a talent there – he will be missed by the council.
“I’m sure we’ll see him back representing on the council soon,” he added.
All the results are below:
RESULT – Alvechurch South – June Griffiths (CON), 1,152, Liz Irving (UKIP), 416. CON WIN.
RESULT – Alvechurch Village – Roger Smith (CON), 746, John Palethorpe (UKIP), 464, Anne Brown (Green), 426. CON WIN.
RESULT – Aston Fields – Philip Thomas (CON), 928, Rory Shannon (LAB), 628, Marcus Draper (GREEN), 239. CON WIN.
RESULT – Avoncroft – Malcolm Glass (CON), 862, Masha Garibyan (LAB), 409, John Ellis (IND), 447. CON WIN.
RESULT – Barnt Green and Hopwood – Mike Webb (CON), 637, Charles Hotham (IND), 1,066. IND WIN.
RESULT – Belbroughton and Romsley (TWO SEATS) – Margaret Sherrey (CON), 2,133, Christopher Allen-Jones (CON), 1,874, Jacky Smith (LAB), 636, Stan Francis (IND), 706, Alec Syrotiuk (IND), 657. CON WIN TWO SEATS.
RESULT – Bromsgrove Central – Rita Dent (CON), 1,010, Tom Stanley (LAB), 743. CON WIN.
RESULT – Catshill North – Helen Jones (CON), 683, Glenys Blackmoor (LAB), 568, Julian Gray (GREEN), 131. CON WIN.
RESULT – Catshill South – Shirley Webb (CON), 830, Bernard McEldowney (LAB), 610. CON WIN.
RESULT – Charford – Mary Marsh (CON), 346, Sean Shannon (LAB), 616, Anita Hill (UKIP), 384. LAB WIN.
RESULT – Cofton – Richard Deeming (CON), 956, Alan Cooper (LAB), 382, Jill Harvey (GREEN), 316. CON WIN.
RESULT – Drakes Cross – Roy Clarke (CON), 686, Sue Baxter (WRA), 925. WRA WIN.
RESULT – Hagley East – Grant Pearce (CON), 588, Rachel Jenkins (IND), 942. IND WIN.
RESULT – Hagley West – Ed Moore (CON), 700, Steven Colella (IND), 1,349. IND WIN.
RESULT – Hill Top – Mark Hodder (CON), 402, Luke Mallett (LAB), 904. LAB WIN.
RESULT – Hollywood – Mark Bullivant (CON), 872, Stephen Peters (WRA), 876. WRA WIN.
RESULT – Lickey Hills – Kit Taylor (CON), 1,015, Janet King (LIB DEM), 746. CON WIN.
RESULT – Lowes Hill – Rod Laight (CON), 1,000, Jeremy Bryan (LAB), 778. CON WIN.
RESULT – Marlbrook – Brian Cooper (CON), 1,148, Martin Knight (LAB), 444, Peter Harvey (GREEN), 251. CON WIN.
RESULT – Norton – Peter Lammas (CON), 943, Ed Murray (LAB), 467, Michelle Baker (GREEN), 166. CON WIN.
RESULT – Perryfields – Karen May (CON), 603, Mick Ball (LAB), 323, Brian Lewis (IND), 111. CON WIN.
RESULT – Rock Hill – Del Booth (CON), 702, Michael Thompson (LAB), 724, Michael Mihailovic (LIB DEM), 151. LAB WIN.
RESULT – Sanders Park – Ted Tibby (CON), 804, Margaret Buxton (LAB), 944. LAB WIN.
RESULT – Sidemoor – Penny Power (CON), 450, Chris Bloore (LAB), 809, Adrian Smart (UKIP), 363. LAB WIN.
RESULT – Slideslow – Caroline Spencer (CON), 1,326, Philip Baker (LAB), 430, Joseph Hearn (LIB DEM), 132, Mark Smith (GREEN), 126. CON WIN.
RESULT – Tardebigge – Peter Whittaker (CON), 982, Ros Cooke (LAB), 247, George Flynn (UKIP), 226. Stan Baker (GREEN), 165. CON WIN.
RESULT – Rubery North – Claire Jones (CON), 631, Peter McDonald (LAB) 1,133. LAB WIN.
RESULT – Rubery South – Alan Venables (CON), 770, Christine McDonald (LAB), 1,017. LAB WIN.
RESULT – Wythall East – Patricia Harrison (CON), 667, Leslie Turner (WRA), 1,028. WRA WIN.
RESULT – Wythall West – Geoff Denaro (CON), 613, Sandra Docker (LIB DEM), 127, Helen Cleaver (WRA), 499, Barry Thornton (UKIP), 277. CON WIN.