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'It's a landslide' as Tories sweep back into power in Solihull

The Conservatives are back in power in Solihull after the ruling Liberal Democrat/Labour Coalition were dealt a hammer-blow in the local elections

Ken Meeson
Ken Meeson

The Conservatives are back in power in Solihull after the ruling Liberal Democrat/Labour Coalition were dealt a hammer-blow in the local elections.

The Liberal Democrats lost four seats to the Tories while Labour lost two in the north of the borough to resurgent Green Party, including that of party group leader Mick Corser.

Blaming the collapse in support on national policy, the Lib Dems were defeated in Blythe, Silhill and two wards in their Shirley stronghold - and also lost the vacant Shirley west seat previously held by Lib Dem Bryn Tudor.

In a reversal of their fortunes last year, the Conservatives won six seats, seizing back overall control of the council.

Councillor Ken Meeson, leader of the Tory group, said he was delighted to have regained an overall majority.

“On behalf of the Conservative group this is a fantastic result. It’s a landslide, he said.

“In particular, the people of Shirley have shifted from yellow to blue and it is a damning indictment of the way regeneration was handled in that area.”

Councillor Ian Hedley, leader of the council, said the Lib Dems had been punished over issues like tuition fees.

“It’s a disappointing day. I think this is the national situation, there was an anger there.

“Nationally what we are trying to do with the Conservatives is turn round the financial situation we were left by Labour.

“I think two to three years down the line people will see that we were right.”

But he said that the Lib-Lab group could be proud of what it had achieved in the past year and he confirmed that he wanted to remain leader of the Lib Dem group at the head of a ‘strong opposition’.

Despite making gains nationally, the Labour group suffered shock losses at the hands of the Greens locally.

Councillor Mick Corser was ousted in Chelmsley Wood, three-years after his predecessor Hugh Hendry suffered the same fate. His deputy Graham Craig suffered the same fate.

Coun David Jamieson (Lab, Kingshurst & Fordbridge) said that the Greens had capitalised on the anger over the area’s regeneration project.

“It seems that across the West Midlands, the party has poured all its efforts into winning these two seats.”

The big losers from the Lib Dems were rising star Tim Hodgson in Shirley South and John Reeve in Shirley East.

The makeup of the council is now as follows: Conservative 29 seats, Lib Dem 12, Labour 6, Green 3 and Independent Lib Dem 1.

Turnout ranged from 26.28 per cent in Kingshurst and Fordbridge to 51.56 per cent in Dorridge and Hockley.

For full results see: http://www.solihull.gov.uk/democracy/publishingresults.htm

 

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