By Ian Dipple 04/05 Updated: 08/05 12:23
AN EMOTIONAL Mayor of Redditch has spoken of her devastation after losing her seat on the borough council.
Despite an impressive showing from Anita Clayton she missed out on being returned as Matchborough's representative by just 90 votes, being ousted by Labour's newcomer John Fisher.
Before the vote Matchborough was predicted to be the key seat for both Labour and the Conservatives to take and so it proved becoming the fourth seat Labour gained on the day and returning them to power.
A tearful Mrs Clayton, whose mayoral year was due to come to an end this month, told the Standard: "I'm devastated on a personal level. It has been a wonderful year for me being mayor and it is just so sad it has come to this at the end of this year.
"We couldn't have done anymore it was against us nationally. People kept raising national issues on the doorstep and we said but this is local politics. What we've done in these four years for Redditch has been absolutely amazing and I'm so sad we are not going to see some of the things we put into policy come to fruition."
There were some words of comfort from the victorious Mr Fisher who was dubbed 'the prize of the night' by his party leader.
"It wasn't a campaign against my opponent on a personal basis it was about what Labour can do nationally and locally and the difference we can make compared to the Conservatives. I've done some work with Redditch One World Link and Mtwara and I know Anita supported that so I am sure she will still do a lot for the town."
Redditch MP Karen Lumley said: "I'm devastated for Anita she's done a brilliant job as mayor, she's a brilliant councillor and she has paid the price for national politics.
"She will come back, I fully expect her to fight again and I fully expect her to appear as a councillor in Redditch again."
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