Hereford & Worcester

Worcestershire County Council held by Conservatives

The Conservatives have retained control of Worcestershire County Council despite losing seats.

Even before the end of counting, the party had passed the 29 seats needed to remain in power on the authority. It won a total of 30.

However, the group also lost 12 seats, including to the authority's first Green Party and UKIP councillors.

The Liberal Democrats lost five of the seven seats they had held. UKIP won four seats in total.

Counting for all 57 seats on the authority started on Friday morning following Thursday's poll.

All the results were declared by Friday evening.

Voter turnout

Anthony Baker became UKIP's first councillor on the authority when he gained the St Mary's ward from the Conservatives.

UKIP later gained a second seat on the council when Eric Kitson won the seat from the Independent Community and Health Concern Party in Stourport-on-Severn, and a third in Redditch South, where Stuart Cross won the seat from the Conservatives.

The party also won a fourth seat in Redditch's Arrow Valley East with Martin Jenkins elected as councillor.

Mr Jenkins said it was a "momentous day in political history" for a party which had "gone from absolutely nowhere" in the area.

He added he did not believe the party's success was down to a protest vote and said it was "insulting" to suggest people did not know who to vote for based on policies.

John Raine won the Greens' first seat on the council, taking Malvern's Trinity ward from the Conservatives and beating the UKIP candidate by five votes.

The turnout for the whole council area was 30.7%.

Deputy returning officer Ian Miller said the "good weather" on Thursday had not increased voter turnout from last year's district council elections.

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