ELECTION: Conservatives are left feeling anything but blue

The Conservatives have held on to control of Northamptonshire County Council at the elections.

There was a degree of apathy with a voter turn-out of just over 30 per cent in Northamptonshire.

Northamptonshire County Council election count

Northamptonshire County Council election count

But the Tories were still celebrating after securing 36 seats and retaining control of the authority.

Their closest rivals were Labour who took 11 seats.

The Liberal Democrats won six seats and UKIP claimed three.

The only independent candidate to win a seat was Christopher Groome for Burton and Broughton.

Here’s a breakdown of the results from Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough and Rushden with views from some of the election’s winners and losers.

CORBY:

Corby will send four Labour and one Conservative councillor to County Hall.

Borough councillor Mary Butcher picked up the Oakley division, winning a clear majority ahead of UKIP in second and incumbent Liberal Democrat Chris Stanbra in third.

“I didn’t expect that much of a result,” Cllr Butcher said of her majority of 452. “Being a county councillor as well as a borough councillor gives me the chance to do more for the borough and Northamptonshire.”

Labour leader John McGhee, who easily held his Kingswood seat, admitted Labour would have liked to have made more gains across the county.

But he added: “Labour will be the main opposition again. We will hold the administration very much to account and continue to make changes for the benefit of the people of Northamptonshire.”

Labour’s Bob Scott and Julie Brookfield both return to County Hall, while Conservative Stan Heggs emerged triumphant in Corby Rural – in which the four parties were separated by just 124 votes.

KETTERING:

The Conservatives won five of the eight seats available in Kettering borough, with Labour picking up two and independent Christopher Groome returning to County Hall.

Cllr Groome won Burton and Broughton ahead of the Conservatives. He said having independent voices on the county council was important for constituents.

Eileen Hales picked up the Windmill division for Labour, while her colleague Mick Scrimshaw won the Northall division by just 64 votes ahead of Tory Larry Henson.

Conservatives Russell Roberts, Jim Hakewill, Allan Matthews, Bill Parker and council leader Jim Harker won the remaining Kettering seats.

“There are some real challenges ahead,” said Cllr Harker, who was pushed hard in his new Ise division by UKIP’s Jonathan Bullock.

“There won’t be any more money but we are determined still to maintain that policy of having the lowest county council tax in the whole of England.

“It is a relief to finish the campaign, particularly finishing on such a high.”

Mr Bullock, a Kettering borough councillor, said his party had put on a good show across the county.

“We would have liked more (seats), but we are here to stay,” he said. “We are looking forward to the European then borough and general elections.”

Cllr Hakewill secured a narrow win in Rothwell and Mawsley, defeating incumbent councillor Alan Pote, who defected to UKIP last year.

Click here to see more pictures from the count.

WELLINGBOROUGH:

In Wellingborough, the Conservatives took five seats and the Labour took back one seat in the Brickhill and Queensway ward.

Graham Lawman, who was elected in Croyland and Swanspool seat, said: “It’s an overwhelming result because it was very, very close. It looked close in the last few days, and even when they opened the ballot box it looked too close to call.

“I thank all of the voters. There is a lot of work to be done in this area – there are some roads which urgently need doing and people are worried about the street lights, bus there is a programme of new lights being installed. It was a tremendous relief and I thank the voters and the other candidates.”

Labour candidate Elizabeth Coombe, who won the Brickhill and Queensway seat, said: “I’m delighted with the result. We must have canvassed thousands of homes and delivered thousands of leaflets. I thank everyone for voting, we have worked really hard.”

Paul Bell, who took the Earls Barton seat, said: “I am over the moon and looking forward to the new challenge of representing so many villages. Every village has a different issue; some have over-development and planning problems. In Isham, we will now be pushing for the bypass at county and borough level.”

Bob Patel, who was elected in Finedon, said: “I am really pleased – it was a narrow win. I will do my best for the community. I thank all those who supported me.”

Malcolm Waters, who won the Hatton Park seat, said: “It’s a wonderful result for us, and the Wellingborough result overall was very impressive. The only change was the Brickhill and Queensway ward and that was only lost by 25 seats, so we must be doing something right.

“We have listened to the people of Wellingborough and we took the UKIP vote seriously.

“In Wellingborough, we work together and have a wonderful team. We are very active and trying to do a lot of things with limited funds and we are seeing the results of our hard work.”

Sue Homer, who was elected in Irchester, said: “I am thrilled to have won and I look at the people in the new boundary as my extended family, and my commitment to their care and their needs will be my priority.”

RUSHDEN:

In Rushden and Higham Ferrers, the three seats were taken by the Conservatives.

Husband and wife Dudley and Sylvia Hughes – both Conservative candidates – took the Raunds and Irthlingborough seats.

Dudley Hughes, elected in Raunds, said: “I am delighted with my result and my wife won her seat in Irthlingborough. There’s still a lot of work to do, but we have made a tremendous start in the last few years. We’ve provided a caring environment for a lot of people who need care and support from the county council.”