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Dramatic night at the polls leaves Worcester City Council in limbo


THE future of Worcester City Council is in limbo this morning - after a dramatic night at the polls which saw a surge of support for UKIP and the Conservatives become the Guildhall's largest party.

It was also a torrid night for Worcester's Liberal Democrats, which suffered a massive blow in losing its Claines stronghold to leave it limping with just one councillor on the authority.

Labour kept all the seats it was defending tonight to leave it still with 16 councillors, and was left celebrating when Jabba Riaz, who defected to the party from the Tories last October, kept Cathedral by 198 votes in a fierce contest.

But a sensational Conservative victory in Claines, which saw Tory Matt Lacey beat the Liberal Democrat's Melanie Allcott by 260 votes, means the Tories have edged clear of Labour to now hold 17 seats.

The result means Labour could lose control of the council if the Tories can go into Coalition with the city's lone Green Councillor Neil Laurenson - a prospect that was being talked up this morning.

But aside from the council being hung, the other main talking point of the night was the dramatic rise of UKIP, which came second in eight of the 11 seats it contested.

Mirroring the rise of Nigel Farage's party nationwide, it came within a whisker of claiming some seats and finished runner-up in Bedwardine, Gorse Hill, Rainbow Hill, St John's, St Peter's Parish, Warndon, Warndon Parish North and Warndon Parish South - mainly taking votes from Labour.

UKIP came within 119 votes of taking the seat of the deputy leader of Worcester City Council, Labour's Geoff Williams.

Another major talking point was Battenhall, where the Conservatives held on, with Steve McKay winning with 863 votes, but the Green Party came a strong second with 751.

After the count both Conservatives and Labour claimed victory, with tense talks now set to kick off over power.

Councillor Adrian Gregson, Labour leader of the city council, said: "We are delighted we've held onto all our seats and are particularly pleased with the result in Cathedral.

"Clearly UKIP got a lot more votes than anyone expected and it's up to us to address that."

Councillor Simon Geraghty, leader of the opposition Tory group, said: "We are now the largest party with 17 councillors, and believe as we have that status we will look to form the administration.

"I'll be seeking to reach out to those other parties to have those discussions."

"I am very pleased to have gained Claines, and disappointed not to have won Cathedral."

The current Labour-led cabinet came to power one year ago after the Liberal Democrats teamed up with Green Cllr Laurenson.

The results means the Conservatives now have 17 councillors on the city council, with Labour on 16, the Lib Dems on one and the Green Party also with one.



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Your Say YourNews

DarrenM says...
3:31pm Fri 23 May 14

Ah yes more tax and spend from Jabbadad - he won't be happy until he's recreated the USSR

presterjohn says...
4:42am Fri 23 May 14

I do wonder what the turn out was at the polls in Worcester. I voted in the Claines district and was the only person present apart from the helpers and organisers. I think a low turn out coupled with a good handful of people that decided to make a protest vote against the EU has caused the upsurge in the UKip vote. None of the options were much cop though to be fair.

voledog says...
6:20am Fri 23 May 14

Maybe I was out each time or just didn't hear my doorbell, but not one candidate for the local elections or anyone canvassing for them even bothered to come and persuade me I should be voting for them. Local elections are supposed about local issues, they should, by far, be the most important elections we vote in as they should (if national governments would ever let them) give people the power to improve the environment in which they live. I've always thought that party politics should be banned at a local level. Candidates sole interest should be about representing the area they live in, not about following some national party doctrine. The reality is, at city level, the Tories don't have the power to set taxes that single out the poor, Labour can't make us all carry ID cards, the Liberals aren't changing the local electoral system to PR, and UKIP certainly isn't able to take Worcester out of EU! So, what's the point of party politics on our doorstep? Maybe if we had a system based on everyone voting for talented, local individuals who can actually be bothered to talk to the electorate, rather than people going for whatever flavour of party is the most popular nationally at the time, then maybe everyone would become more engaged and local politicians would just get on with working for the city instead of squabbling with each other along silly party lines.

Worcester Lad says...
6:38am Fri 23 May 14

Turnout in Claines was 44.8% 2nd best on of the day

Voice of the Voyager says...
7:30am Fri 23 May 14

The worst possible result - The Green(s) as kingmaker and playing one off against the other, to extract maximum leverage for the chance of power..

pudniw_gib says...
8:21am Fri 23 May 14

Voice of the Voyager wrote: The worst possible result - The Green(s) as kingmaker and playing one off against the other, to extract maximum leverage for the chance of power..
that's politics .. actually a good thing. Moderating influences are to be welcomed.

Hwicce says...
8:27am Fri 23 May 14

Voice of the Voyager wrote: The worst possible result - The Green(s) as kingmaker and playing one off against the other, to extract maximum leverage for the chance of power..
The Lib Dem could be a kingmaker and side with the Conservatives as well. Which one Lib Dem or Green wants to "rule" most?

Mike5305 says...
9:09am Fri 23 May 14

voledog wrote: Maybe I was out each time or just didn't hear my doorbell, but not one candidate for the local elections or anyone canvassing for them even bothered to come and persuade me I should be voting for them. Local elections are supposed about local issues, they should, by far, be the most important elections we vote in as they should (if national governments would ever let them) give people the power to improve the environment in which they live. I've always thought that party politics should be banned at a local level. Candidates sole interest should be about representing the area they live in, not about following some national party doctrine. The reality is, at city level, the Tories don't have the power to set taxes that single out the poor, Labour can't make us all carry ID cards, the Liberals aren't changing the local electoral system to PR, and UKIP certainly isn't able to take Worcester out of EU! So, what's the point of party politics on our doorstep? Maybe if we had a system based on everyone voting for talented, local individuals who can actually be bothered to talk to the electorate, rather than people going for whatever flavour of party is the most popular nationally at the time, then maybe everyone would become more engaged and local politicians would just get on with working for the city instead of squabbling with each other along silly party lines.
Local Councils can't make national decisions but they can support and mirror Party policy. Look for example at the Conservative led County Councils drive towards 'commissioning' which aligns closely with the Conservative philosophy towards 'privatisation'. I'm not saying this is right or wrong - it is simply a fact. Whilst I'd like to think that local councils could be run on a non political basis there are too many diverse and strategic decisions that councils need to make for that to happen without the influence of national politics. I think the presence of political parties and allegiances at local level is inevitable and in some ways beneficial as it brings an overall structure for decision making. The down side is that councils can become obsessed with the dogma and loose sight of the local impact on following national policy. Having a hung council might just be the best of both worlds!

Chipper Dinosaur says...
10:00am Fri 23 May 14

Voledog you are spot on. Local issues should be decided on merit and for the good of the area. Not voted for along party lines.

Shropshirelad says...
12:12pm Fri 23 May 14

mohaa wrote: i voted BNP so now i have a right to whinge about the imigrante scum we let into this country and the child sex offenders we allow to walk our streets..
Whatever the other parties are, none as far as I can see supports this sort of approach to this countries problems. Immigration as we have experienced it should rightly concern us all and it should be approached intelligently, rationally yes, and with a degree of sympathy with those from other countries who have done no more than take advantage of the EU laws and policies that allow it. Many British people do the same thing in reverse. We are an overcrowded small island bursting at the seams but, even if we sank under the weight and lack of space, I would never vote for the BNP because to do so indicates a lack of self respect, a lack of intelligence and a total and utter indifference to the civilised standards of our country. I would never boast of support for the BNP and you should be ashamed of yourself.

mohaa says...
10:44am Fri 23 May 14

i voted BNP so now i have a right to whinge about the imigrante scum we let into this country and the child sex offenders we allow to walk our streets..

willing says...
11:46am Fri 23 May 14

presterjohn wrote: I do wonder what the turn out was at the polls in Worcester. I voted in the Claines district and was the only person present apart from the helpers and organisers. I think a low turn out coupled with a good handful of people that decided to make a protest vote against the EU has caused the upsurge in the UKip vote. None of the options were much cop though to be fair.
It's rather sad, and a tad arrogant, when Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems, Greens et al attempt by repetition to persuade us that those voting Ukip n increasing numbers, are merely exercising protest votes. Here's some new ways to think about things...maybe Ukip offer a real and viable alternative, and perhaps increasing numbers of hapless British voters have given up voting for politicians who have made an art out of ignoring them? Just a thought

willing says...
11:55am Fri 23 May 14

Chipper Dinosaur wrote: Voledog you are spot on. Local issues should be decided on merit and for the good of the area. Not voted for along party lines.
That's precisely how Ukip councillors operate, because they recognise that local councils are about locals issues, which clearly vary from town to town, and city to city. Councillors from other parties should not be blamed for failing to copy Ukip councillors, because their own MPs ignore public opinion for much of the time, and even deliberately conspire to deny the public a voice n major issues like Europe.

iamthebinman says...
12:00pm Fri 23 May 14

mohaa wrote: i voted BNP so now i have a right to whinge about the imigrante scum we let into this country and the child sex offenders we allow to walk our streets..
About 450 people voted BNP. I would be more than happy to swap every one for an immigrant from any country on this planet. It would make Worcester a better place.

brooksider says...
12:25pm Fri 23 May 14

willing wrote:
Chipper Dinosaur wrote: Voledog you are spot on. Local issues should be decided on merit and for the good of the area. Not voted for along party lines.
That's precisely how Ukip councillors operate, because they recognise that local councils are about locals issues, which clearly vary from town to town, and city to city. Councillors from other parties should not be blamed for failing to copy Ukip councillors, because their own MPs ignore public opinion for much of the time, and even deliberately conspire to deny the public a voice n major issues like Europe.
UKIP did not stand on local issues. The self styled common sense party pushed a leaflet pushed through my letterbox which led with the message 'Managed Immigration' and 'Referendum on EU membership', neither of which comes under the jurisdiction of a Local Councillor. Maybe if they had actually fought the election on local issues, they might have won a seat.

Jabbadad says...
1:31pm Fri 23 May 14

I hope that when Neil Laurenson Green Councillor and described as King Maker sits quietly to deliberate his and this cities future he will recall The Name Calling that came fot theCONSERVATIES and tells them where to go. Then Sadly Simon in his word won't be able to proceed with the sound CONservative policies which include of course taking from the Diasabled and our Older People., Yep Simon & The CONservatives seem very much at ease when slashing and burning through the older peoples services. And there is still over a further £1 million pounds worth of cuts to come from these NASTY TORIES locally.

Jabbadad says...
3:58pm Fri 23 May 14

DarrenM There would be enough money to fund most things if the CONservatives and Labour when in power had addressed The Multi Nationals who manage by slick accounting to avoid / not pay £Billions of tax, when anyone on PAYE has their exact taxation stopped at source. So as I do not advocate spend, spend, spend, I also do NOT unlike the CONservatives advocate Slashing the essential Services from the most vulnerable people in Society, and obviously DarrenM YOU DO.

New Kid on the Block says...
3:57pm Fri 23 May 14

DarrenM wrote: Ah yes more tax and spend from Jabbadad - he won't be happy until he's recreated the USSR
He seems to have trouble with his CAPS LOCK KEY as well.

DarrenM says...
5:00pm Fri 23 May 14

Yes, when you're overdrawn clearly the answer is keep spending.....

laidback says...
6:37am Sun 25 May 14

pudniw_gib wrote:
Voice of the Voyager wrote: The worst possible result - The Green(s) as kingmaker and playing one off against the other, to extract maximum leverage for the chance of power..
that's politics .. actually a good thing. Moderating influences are to be welcomed.
I would not adduce an alleged ex SWP activist and admirer of the Al Quaida apologist Seumas Milne a "moderating influence" big wind up.

Jabbadad says...
12:46am Sat 24 May 14

DarrenM, while I agree that we all have to be carefull, what is quite wrong is that cuts in Vulnerable & Older Peoples services have and are taking place, while Huge tax releif is given to the CONservative Millionaires, and Huge Tax evasion / non payments are a daily norm for Conservative supporters (probably the reason they are keen sponsers of The CONservatives) And while Cameron, and others on here, boast about the huge Old Age Pensions increases they forget to mention that under this current CONservative government as the pensions have increased so the Pensions savings Credit (a scheme introduced by Labour) is reduced. So My last increase was £2 58 not £5. I ought to send it to Iain Duncan Smith who with him being able to manage / Live on £56 per week (his claim) he would do wonders wiith the additonal £2. 58. As of course would George Cowley, who now as a Conservative faithfull tells us he is very comfortably off.

anarchist says...
9:30am Sat 24 May 14

Jabbadad, what evidence do you have to support your libellous claim that tax evasion (which is a criminal offence) is _normal_ behaviour among Conservative supporters? Criticising the Conservative Party for its policies is one thing but suggesting that criminal behaviour is the norm among the 30% or so of the UK population who support them is entirely different. You are letting your visceral hatred of the Conservative Party morph into an irrational and unjustified characterisation of their supporters, the vast majority of whom are not rich but realise that spending money that we don't have is not a path to a better future.

grumpychef says...
11:55am Sat 24 May 14

What ever happened to Politicians campaigning I reside in a block of 44 flats ,and not one person put a leaflet through my door or knocked on it , Once again we have voted for a bunch of lazy baffones ,who want office so they can tell us what to do ,as they live high on the Hog

grumpychef says...
11:57am Sat 24 May 14

What ever happened to Politicians campaigning I reside in a block of 44 flats ,and not one person put a leaflet through my door or knocked on it , Once again we have voted for a bunch of lazy baffoones ,who want office so they can tell us what to do ,as they live high on the Hog

Jabbadad says...
1:09pm Sat 24 May 14

Anarchist i think if you take off your polically clouded glasses you wil see that my comment / inference is linked to those who might for what ever reason contribute to the CONservative party, and who do play the game of paying as least tax as they can, while those on PAYE cannot employ accountants to move the money around between different accounts so often it can become considerably less if not invisible. Now you call / recognise this as to how you wish , but it has been widely reported that all governments were also aware, some wished to address the issue some didn't.. And if you are also a CONservative businessman you will be aware that a good accountant should after your expenses have been allocated, then ensure you pay the least tax on the by now very small remainder. And even in small to medium businesses their are those who pay less tax than some of their PAYE employees. And in recent company when this was discussed there was general acknowledgement.

Bismarck says...
2:03pm Sat 24 May 14

brooksider wrote:
willing wrote:
Chipper Dinosaur wrote: Voledog you are spot on. Local issues should be decided on merit and for the good of the area. Not voted for along party lines.
That's precisely how Ukip councillors operate, because they recognise that local councils are about locals issues, which clearly vary from town to town, and city to city. Councillors from other parties should not be blamed for failing to copy Ukip councillors, because their own MPs ignore public opinion for much of the time, and even deliberately conspire to deny the public a voice n major issues like Europe.
UKIP did not stand on local issues. The self styled common sense party pushed a leaflet pushed through my letterbox which led with the message 'Managed Immigration' and 'Referendum on EU membership', neither of which comes under the jurisdiction of a Local Councillor. Maybe if they had actually fought the election on local issues, they might have won a seat.
Actually UKIP did campaign on local issues, but only in the wards they were targeting to win. Being a modestly-sized operation they had to focus their efforts in key areas, not unlike the Green Party method (Which succeeded for them in St Stephen in 2012 and almost did again in Battenhall this year). The local issues were car park charges, greenbelt development, Council executive pay and other ward-specific issues. This took them very close to winning the Labour stronghold of Warndon. Most households across the city received a generic Euro election party leaflet, which is the one you refer to.

Jabbadad says...
2:41pm Sat 24 May 14

Knowing Neil Laurenson, he is a very serious person who having been in a similar position of holding the balance of power, he is aware of the responsibilty he faces. I am hoping that he recalls the comments from the CONservatives when last he chose to support the Labour Group, whether it was political greiving or the loss of Thousands of pounds attendance allowances who knows? Liz Smith is a seasoned trooper and will make her decision also for the good of the City. Stand fast and true Neil.

anarchist says...
5:27pm Sat 24 May 14

The exact term you used, Jabbadad, was "Conservative supporters", a term that extends well beyond "those who provide financial support for the Conservative Party". You also specifically referred to "tax evasion" rather than "tax avoidance". But even if you really meant only those who provide financial support for the Conservatives, where is the evidence for your libellous assertion that tax evasion - a criminal offence - is the _norm_ among these supporters? It would seem that you don't understand the critical distinction between tax avoidance, which is legal, and tax evasion, which is not.

laidback says...
6:15am Sun 25 May 14

Jabbadad wrote: Knowing Neil Laurenson, he is a very serious person who having been in a similar position of holding the balance of power, he is aware of the responsibilty he faces. I am hoping that he recalls the comments from the CONservatives when last he chose to support the Labour Group, whether it was political greiving or the loss of Thousands of pounds attendance allowances who knows? Liz Smith is a seasoned trooper and will make her decision also for the good of the City. Stand fast and true Neil.
I think a little more research by you Jabbadad into Laurenson's past affiliations may bring some enlightenment. Laurenson within these pages has eulogised people such as Seumas Milne, a trotskyite and apologist for Al Quaida. Further, Laurenson's past writings to the Cambridge University alumni magazine betray a violent intolerance. May I recommend you read the scribblings of his fellow luny Mark Anthony France within Socialist Unity regarding Laurenson's election to Council in which France tallies him an "ex SWP activist".

The Boy says...
10:05am Sun 25 May 14

I wonder what Seumas Milne would say about such an accusation. Mark was wrong – I was (and, very occasionally, still am) a Stop the War activist. I’d be interested to know what I’ve said in CAM that could be construed as ‘violent intolerance’. As upsetting as all this nonsense is, I suppose it is better to be acknowledged than ignored. (Note: I have tried to change my daft pseudonym to my actual name but it can’t be done, so just for the avoidance of doubt, I am Neil ‘The Kingmaker’ Laurenson.)

Jabbadad says...
12:45pm Sun 25 May 14

I don't support all of Neils policies and have said so on theses pages. But I would also support Stop The War as a statement, there has never been a good war. Wars generally (apart from the revolutions) have been started by / over Religions or Politics / Royalty, hardly ever the general people. And even when you look behind even violent street disturbances (which I also do not support) you will find the activists, some who will latch onto anything as if it's a game, and who mostly have self gain as a motive. I wait with nterest the EU results tonight. I feel / hope that the smiles / sarcasm shown will be wiped of the faces of many.

Keith B says...
2:27pm Mon 26 May 14

Hwicce wrote:
Voice of the Voyager wrote: The worst possible result - The Green(s) as kingmaker and playing one off against the other, to extract maximum leverage for the chance of power..
The Lib Dem could be a kingmaker and side with the Conservatives as well. Which one Lib Dem or Green wants to "rule" most?
Or the Green and Lib Dem could get together and make a bid for power giving neither a majority and voting on the issues on each individual vote. That really is democracy.

Jabbadad says...
3:25pm Mon 26 May 14

Never saw that one coming keithB. What a thought?

Keith B says...
4:37pm Mon 26 May 14

Jabbadad - very interested in your contribution on European election night thread. Very good.

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