Labour gain control of Birmingham and Dudley councils

Ed Miliband: ''Labour is taking nothing for granted''

Labour have taken control of Birmingham and Dudley councils.

The party needed just four gains to take Birmingham, but claimed half of the 40 seats being contested to finish with a 34-seat majority.

Labour leader Ed Miliband was welcomed "back to Labour Birmingham" on Friday morning by Sir Albert Bore, the party's group leader in the city.

Mr Miliband promised to repay voters' trust in his party.

In Dudley, Labour gained 13 seats to take control of the authority which had been in Conservative hands since 2004.

Labour claimed all 24 seats which were up for election at Sandwell Council to hold on to control of the authority.

Analysis

After launching their local election campaign in Birmingham, Labour exceeded their own expectations by gaining 20 seats and seizing control from the ruling Lib Dem/Conservative coalition.

Such was the swing to Labour that even "true blue" Sutton Vesey, in Sutton Coldfield, turned red for the first time since the ward's creation more than 100 years ago.

The unpopularity of the coalition government was evident nowhere more so than Dudley where Labour made 13 gains to take control from the Conservatives.

As expected, Labour held firm and consolidated their position in Sandwell and Wolverhampton. There was some consolation for the Conservatives in Solihull where they retained overall control, despite losing a seat to the local Ratepayers Alliance.

Against the odds, the Liberal Democrat vote in Solihull held up with the party losing just one seat.

The party gained eight seats while the Conservatives lost six and the Liberal Democrats one.

Walsall Borough Council remains under no overall control.

The Conservatives lost three seats, with Labour gaining one to become the largest single party.

In Solihull, Conservatives have retained control of the council with an overall majority of five seats, down from seven.

The party now have 28 seats, with Liberal Democrats on 11, a net loss of one. Labour have six, unchanged from before the election.

The Green Party gained one seat to take their total to five, with the Ratepayers party gaining one seat.

In Wolverhampton, Labour have taken 17 of the 20 seats on offer with nine seats taken from the Conservatives.

People in Birmingham have also voted in a referendum on whether the city should be run by an elected mayor.

In each of the six West Midlands councils a third of seats, which last came before voters in 2008, were decided.

Labour took their first ever seat in Sutton Coldfield.

Mr Miliband arrived in the city earlier to thank party members and personally congratulated Councillor Robert Pocock for his win in Sutton Vesey.

Start Quote

This city has to get back to work and that's what Labour intends to do”

End Quote Sire Albert Bore Birmingham City Council Labour group leader

He said his party would not take anything for granted and wanted to reach out to those that did not vote for them.

The election results send a "clear message" to the coalition government, he said.

"This government promised change and it made things worse, not better," he said.

The leader of Birmingham's Labour group Sir Albert Bore said he would "go about the business of governing the city very differently to the previous administration".

"This city has to get back to work and that's what Labour intends to do," he added.

Former Conservative leader of the authority Mike Whitby said he was proud of the coalition's legacy and added that voters would soon "regret their decision".

Birmingham City Council is one of Europe's biggest local authorities, managing an annual budget of £4bn.

· All the latest election results are available at bbc.co.uk/vote2012

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