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THE Liberal Democrats have taken control of Cotswold District Council after 16 years of a Conservative administration.
Voters turned away from the Tories as they lost eight wards and lost their majority.
Liberal Democrats have 18 seats on the new council, which meets for the first time on May 14, with 14 Conservatives, one independent and one Green.
Liberal Democrat group leader Councillor Joe Harris said: “Our campaign slogan was ‘local people deserve better’ and they bought into that.
“My promise is we will try and deliver better.”
The Conservatives had controlled the council from 2003 after it had been under no overall control for four years.
It was run by independents from its inception in 1973-1999.
Former leader Councillor Tony Berry, who was re-elected in Kemble, pinned the blame on Brexit.
He said: “We lost it because there is an awful lot of rubbish going at the top level of politics, a lot of people not turning out to vote, putting in votes which are basically to show they are not happy with what is going on at the moment. “We are in healthy position and we will be handing that over to the Liberal Democrats, and I hope they will continue to be prudent financially and actually have some very well thought-out policies.” Andrew Maclean became the first Green Party councillor in the district after be beat Mark Mackenzie-charrington in the Rissingtons ward.
He said: “II think the issues of climate change have come up in the world so much and I got an upswell in local support.
“It is fantastic the people in the Cotswolds now want to preserve our planet and make a future for our children.”
At one point a count was delayed after a smiley face on a ballot paper was accepted despite debate and unhappiness from Conservatives.
Tetbury Town count was originally a tie between the Conservative and Independent candidates.
One ballot paper which said Brexit with an arrow to the Conservative candidate was considered a symbol of support.