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4th Jul, 2022

Redditch Labour celebrate as Conservatives blame national issues

THE Leader of Redditch Borough Council admits he has been left with much to think about after losing three seats – and two key councillors – in the local elections.

Speaking after seeing the defeat of his deputy leader Gemma Monaco in Batchley & Brockhill and his finance portfolio holder Mike Rouse in Church Hill, Coun Matt Dormer said he would spend the weekend ‘making some calls’ to re-shape his administration.

“This was a scenario I’d played through in my mind as we knew thee would be a major battle for these seats,” he said.

However while Labour has put their success down to the controversy over plans to demolish the library building and move it to the Town Hall, Coun Dormer insisted it was national issues that had hit his party’s hopes.

“I think the people of Redditch can see the bigger picture and know that we are the only party that has a good solid and cogent plan for the town.

“Labour campaigned on national issues, rising fuel prices, the cost of living, because they knew that locally that was something we could not control.

“I’m losing two good councillors here. Gemma has worked tirelessly for the people of Batchley & Brockhill and has got us on a much better footing with Persimmon Homes who owe us thousands.

“Mike Rouse will be a very difficult act to follow on finance and we will have to take time to see who has the knowledge and capacity to take it on.”

Labour group leader Coun Andy Fry meanwhile was delighted at his party’s showing on the night, retaining both seats on Greenlands, their seat on Central, his own in Lodge Park, and capturing Batchlery & Brockhill, Church Hill and Abbey ward from the Conservatives.

“I am absolutely thrilled at this result,” he said.

“We’ve got some real experience back with Joe Baker (Batchley & Brockhill) and Bill Hartnett (Church Hill) and a lot of enthusiastic new faces too and together they will make an excellent team.

“I am so excited to be part of it because now the Labour group will be much stronger and we will make sure the Conservative consult with the people of Redditch and we will hold them to account when they fail to do so.

“The tide is turning in Redditch and they can no longer carry on doing as they please without due regard to the residents of this town.

“I’d also like to pay tribute to wonderful group of helpers and volunteers who’ve put their hearts and souls into ensuring this night is a success.

“Labour is all the stronger for their efforts.”

Here are the full results of the local elections in Redditch:

Abbey

Andrew Fieldsend-Roxborough (Lib Dem) – 156

Gabby Hemming (Green) – 105

Sid Khan (Labour) – 870

James Walsh (Conservative) – 827

Astwood Bank & Feckenham

Wanda King (Lab) – 479

Ian Pickles (Lib Dem) – 152

Glen Theobald (Green) – 131

Craig Warhurst (Con) – 946

Batchley & Brockhill

Joe Baker (Lab) – 952 (Lab gain)

Frank Knight (Reform UK) – 103

Gemma Monaco (Con) – 792

Lea Room (Green) – 88

Central

Sharon Harvey (Lab) – 829 (hold)

Victoria Lees (Green) – 161

Ummar Memi (Con) – 468

Church Hill

Bill Hartnett (Lab) – 794 (Lab gain)

Chris Hudson (Green) – 85

Mike Rouse (Con) – 729

Mark Tomes (Lib Dem) – 218

Crabbs Cross

Salman Akbar (Con) – 675 (hold)

Claire Davies (Green) – 245

Monica Fry (Lab) – 410

David Gee (Lib Dem) – 85

Greenlands

Lee Avery-Sherwood (Con) 627

Juma Begum (Lab) 633

Joanna Kane (Lab) 740

Jo Monk (Con) 596

Simon Preston (Lib Dem) 158

Steve Sergent (Green) 177

Headless Cross & Oakenshaw

Juliet Barker Smith (Lab) 864

Jo Beecham (Con) 1,059 (hold)

Alistair Waugh (Green) 214

Lodge Park

Andrew Fry (Lab) – 697 (hold)

Chris Holz (Con) – 361

Rylma White (Green) – 71

Winyates

Jem Bailey (Green) – 121

Ann Gee (Lib Dem) – 125

Anthony Lovell (Con) – 997 (hold)

Ian Woodall (Lab) – 627

The make up of the council is now: Conservatives: 20 councillors, Labour: 7 councillors, Greens: 1 councillor, Independent: 1 councillor

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