Election results: Lib Dems win Cotswold District Council

Lib Dems at Cotswold District Council
Image caption The Lib Dems overturned a previous Tory majority of 10 to take control

The Lib Dems have taken control of Cotswold District Council from the Conservatives.

The Tories lost their majority of 10 seats, with the Lib Dems winning 18 of the 34 seats up for grabs.

The Greens, who launched a local group in the area four years ago, won their first seat, taking the Rissingtons ward from the Tories.

Another seat was taken from the Conservatives by an independent candidate.

The council’s Conservative group leader Tony Berry said he would ask the prime minister to “consider her position very carefully” after the local election results.

However, Mr Berry said: “I do recognise there are very, very many things in play here.

“Not just protest votes, but I think when we look into the figures we also find there’s a much lower turnout than usual and of course that skews everything. It’s a very unusual set of circumstances.”

election results lib dems win cotswold district council 2 - Election results: Lib Dems win Cotswold District Council

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Media captionConservative Party leader at Cotswold District Council Tony Berry: ‘I’d ask PM to consider her position’

Asked what reasons he was picking up on the doorstep about why people were not voting Conservative, Mr Berry blamed Brexit and “professional politicians who are basically working for themselves rather than necessarily what is best for the country”.

He said his message to Mrs May would be “to consider her position very carefully”.

Meanwhile, another independent candidate, Kevin Painter, is seeking legal action after he lost to the Conservatives by one vote in Tetbury Town ward, where there was a tie.

Officials then looked through the spoiled ballots and accepted a paper where the voter had written “Brexit” with an arrow to the Conservative candidate.

Mr Painter described the decision as “absolutely shocking”.

The council said it had consulted the guidelines in the Electoral Commission’s booklet on doubtful papers and examples within election law books.


By BBC Radio Gloucestershire politics reporter Hayley Mortimer

After 16 years of Conservative control the Liberal Democrats have won enough seats to take over the running of Cotswold District Council.

As counting got under way it became clear that smaller parties and independents were benefiting from a disenchanted electorate.

In the end, the Liberal Democrats took seven seats from the Conservatives – enough to have a majority.

It was a disappointing night for the Conservatives – they also lost a seat to an independent and to the Green Party.

It is the first time a Green councillor has been elected to the district council.

The Conservatives are blaming the loses on Brexit. Group leader Tony Berry said it was time for Theresa May to resign.

He said many Conservative voters simply stayed at home in protest.

But the Lib Dems said there were local issues at play too, in particular the council’s handling of the Chesterton development – 2,350 homes on the outskirts of Cirencester.

The Conservatives have received a lot of negative press attention and the Lib Dems say that voters are just fed up.

Either search using your postcode or council name or click around the map to show local results.

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