Labour clear victors in borough elections

Published: 4 May 2012 03:5113 comments

LABOUR walked away from last night's Reading Borough Council election count as the clear victors - winning overall control.

The party began the election as a minority administration with 22 seats but finished on 26 after winning Kentwood, Church and Caversham from the Conservatives and snatching Redlands and Katesgrove from the Liberal Democrats.

They also held Minster, Norcot, Southcote, Whitley, Battle and Abbey but lost Park to the Green Party, who were delighted to add a third councillor to their ranks - all of whom represent the east Reading ward.

Council leader Cllr Jo Lovelock said: "After years of having a hung council, it's great that we have overall control and we've got a programme to put through. What's most important is we continue engaging with the public so decisions are based on feedback from them and that is the central plank in running the council."

The Tories managed to hold Thames, Mapledurham and Peppard, where Jane Stanford-Beale beat Jamie Chowdhary - who dramatically quit the party and announced he was standing as independent just weeks before the election after being de-selected from the seat last year - by 301 votes. It leaves the party with 12 seats.

The Lib Dems had three seats to defend but only held Tilehurst, where long-standing councillor Peter Beard stood down and was replaced by Meri O'Connell. The result leaves them with four councillors and follows a poor performance at last year's election, when the party failed to defend any of the three seats they were defending.

The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats blamed their defeats on a public backlash against the Coalition Government but neither group leader condemned what their parties are doing nationally.

They also pointed to the low turnouts, which ranged from 20.2% in Abbey to 41.37% in Mapledurham, with the average across the 16 wards standing at 29.78%.

Lib Dem group leader Daisy Benson said: "It's not extremely unexpected but I'm obviously disappointed not to be able to hold the two against Labour. I'm delighted we held Tilehurst, I think it shows that people do notice the local effort that we do put in. I think the turnout shows the majority of people are not convinced by any party.

"It is similar to last year. There is massive unease about some of the decision that are going on nationally but being out in Reading, I don't think it was a reflection of what we do locally."

Tory group leader Cllr Tim Harris said: "It was a disappointment, it was worse than I was expecting if I'm brutally honest. My opinion is that it was the national picture but I think the Government are doing exactly the right thing. Unfortunately it will be a full term, four years, until we see the results. At that point the economy will be picking up."

A delighted Green Party group leader, Cllr Rob White, said: "We have been working hard, increasing in Reading and we have had a really positive reception of the doorstep."

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  • oldshepherd
    14 posts
    May 4, 11:16
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    Extraordinary how people have got such short memeories.

    Recommend?   Yes 25     No 10

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  • MoonMama23
    1 post
    May 4, 12:20
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    Thirs world multicultural slum? Where have you been? Thats a pretty low insult to people who actually have to live in third world countries.

    Recommend?   Yes 9     No 9

  • HiHoSpeaks
    8 posts
    May 4, 13:59
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    I am all for Green issues - the Green party now has three seats - but what have they done for Reading? what are they going to do? gone are the days we listened to amusing Rob White now he has to show what he is delivering or be judged for it ... come on Rob what is your party doing for Reading - what difference have you made?

    Recommend?   Yes 9     No 5

  • mister dog
    Unregistered User
    May 4, 14:03
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    If your body of voters consists of dole scroungers and hangers-on who rely on funding, then naturally you'll prevail.

    Recommend?   Yes 15     No 9

  • Jazzy Camel
    Unregistered User
    May 4, 14:26
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    It never fails to amaze that people still vote for Tony Page. Frontal lobotomies at the Royal Berks must be discounted for Labour voters eh? Smirk.

    Recommend?   Yes 46     No 11

  • oldshepherd
    14 posts
    May 4, 18:20
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    Now you watch the Council Tax rises .... you forgetful voters. Oh dear.

    Recommend?   Yes 12     No 7

  • Mountain Cat
    Unregistered User
    May 4, 18:28
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    So Labour's (supposed) racist campaign worked then? Not many ethnic names up there. Shame.

    Recommend?   Yes 27     No 7

  • dickemery
    Unregistered User
    May 5, 05:53
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    l agree what have the big 3 parties have done to change things you have to change your voting no good same parties a bunch of school boys lost up themselves vote for a worth while party your choice we are like a flock of sheep not knowing which way to go so stop complaining and vote from your heart and may be then things might change to the no give your views dont hide

    Recommend?   Yes 11     No 2

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  • This comment has been removed by our moderation team because it didn't meet our community guidelines.

  • This comment has been removed by our moderation team because it didn't meet our community guidelines.

  • Rob White
    Unregistered User
    May 5, 14:57
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    Have a look at our website for Green achievements:



    We have helped reverse bus fare concessions cuts, improved the council's living wage policy got more solar panels installed to name just a few of our achievements.

    Recommend?   Yes 3     No 14

  • S C A R
    Unregistered User
    May 5, 18:02
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    "We have helped reverse bus fare concessions cuts, improved the council's living wage policy got more solar panels installed to name just a few of our achievements".

    You steady on there Rob, at this rate you'll be able to squabble over toilets in Woodley.

    Recommend?   Yes 14     No 0

  • Absolute
    Unregistered User
    May 5, 19:28
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    Rob, can you tell this stone to become bread? Smirk.

    Recommend?   Yes 18     No 2

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  • dickemery
    Unregistered User
    May 8, 02:07
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    what ever happened to freedom of speach the moderater needs to be moderate not dictatorship

    Recommend?   Yes 4     No 2

  • Unenriched
    Unregistered User
    May 9, 16:08
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    So their alleged racist campaign worked then? Good stuff!

    Recommend?   Yes 2     No 2