LO­CAL ELEC­TIONS

» All the re­sults

Gloucestershire Echo - - FRONT PAGE - By LEIGH BOOBYER

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.

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