Northampton

Northamptonshire County Council election: Tories retain control

The Conservatives have retained control of Northamptonshire County Council in the 2013 local elections.

The Tories have won 36 seats giving them a majority on the council - which the party won from Labour in 2005.

Following a boundary review, 57 seats are being contested, down from 73 four years ago.

Labour won 11 seats, the Lib Dems six and UK Independence Party (UKIP) three and independents one.

The previous council of 73 members was made up of 54 Conservatives, 10 Lib Dems, six Labour members, two independents and one UKIP member.

Jim Harker, leader of the Conservative group, said: "It has been an exciting and interesting afternoon and I am pleased the people of Northamptonshire have retained a Conservative administration.

"People realise we are living in challenging times. They recognise this was a local government election decided on local issues. They voted on local issues and the fact that for the eighth year running we have the lowest council tax in the region."

'Official opposition'

John McGhee, Labour group leader, said he was pleased the party had now taken the role of official opposition from the Lib Dems.

"I am feeling ecstatic. We have always been the opposition but now we are the official opposition. We will hold the Tories to account," he said.

Lib Dems Brendan Glynane said despite the party's poor performance people recognised "how hard we work".

"Labour will now be the official opposition but how they do we don't know. At this stage in the electoral cycle Labour should be doing much better than they are doing

Margot Parker, a representative of UKIP in Northamptonshire, said the party was "growing and here to stay".

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