IT’S AS you were in Evesham and Pershore as the Conservative and Liberal Democrats retained their seats across the Vale.
Coun Peter Griffiths, Coun Laura Gretton, Coun Emma Stokes and Coun Dan Boatright will be among the new faces attending the first meeting of the new council on May 20 after a day which saw the Tories ‘blue wave’ crash through the county.
The party polled nearly 50 per cent of the vote across Worcestershire, making seven gains as Labour were reduced to just three councillors and relegated from the official opposition at County Hall.
Coun Stokes was the first victory for the party as the headline-making Evesham South campaign came to a close.
The seat which saw one candidate chosen by his party locally before being dumped, his replacement standing down in a row over the Port Street revamp and numerous accusations of bad behaviour but Coun Stokes held the seat. Bob Rhodes for the Green Party saw his share of the vote surge in a result which took the party into second place.
In the Littletons Coun Alastair Adams added more than 300 votes compared to four years ago and won almost 70 per cent of the share of the vote in a comfortable victory. Coun Adrian Hardman and Coun Liz Eyre enjoyed similar victories in Bredon and Broadway respectively.
Coun Boatright ensured the Pershore seat – held for a number of years by Liz Tucker – remained in Liberal Democrat hands. With four seats the Lib Dems is now the largest second party on Worcestershire County Council, raising the prospect of them becoming the official opposition.
Coun Gretton polled more than 2,000 votes in the Tory stronghold of Harvington to become one of 45 Conservative councillors at County Hall. In Evesham North West, Coun Peter Griffiths ensured a clean sweep in Evesham for the Tories with a comfortable victory over Labour’s Helen Russell.
Click here for the results in full and here to read Observer editor Rob George’s take on a dramatic day.