THE Conservative Party maintained a firm grip on Cherwell District Council with 50 per cent of the vote in this year’s district elections.
A total of 16 seats were up for election, and overall turnout was about 43 per cent, compared to last year’s average ward turnout of around 65 per cent.
Conservatives won 12 seats with 50 per cent of the vote, while Labour won three seats with 30 per cent of the vote, and the Liberal Democrats won one seat with 14 per cent of the vote.
Other parties and independents gained six per cent of the total votes.
The Labour Party is now the official opposition in Cherwell, with the council remaining under Conservative control.
Following yesterday’s elections, Cherwell District Council now has 43 Conservative councillors, four Labour councillors, and three Liberal Democrat councillors.
Cherwell District Council’s returning officer, Karen Curtin, said: “I would like to thank all the staff involved in what has been a complex logistical exercise.
“I would also like to thank all of the candidates and agents for their impeccable conduct during the elections.”
In the Ambrosden and Chesterton ward, Conservative Andrew Fulljames was re-elected with 718 votes, while Liberal Democrat John Willett got 257 votes. Turnout was 43.2 per cent.
In Bicester East, Conservative Rose Stratford was re-elected with 972 votes, against Labour candidate John Hanna’s 641 votes. Ward turnout was 39.6 per cent.
In Bicester North, Conservative Carol Steward was re-elected with 1,013 votes, against Labour candidate Kevin Walsh’s 432 votes and Liberal Democrat John Innes’ 275 votes. Ward turnout was 37.3 per cent.
In Bicester South, incumbent Liberal Democrat Nick Cotter was ousted by Conservative Lynn Pratt, by 677 votes to 550 votes, while Labour’s Neil Payne won 86 votes and Graham Newell of the Green Party won 86 votes.
In Bicester Town, Conservative Diana Edwards was re-elected with 852 votes against Labour candidate John Broad’s 557 votes. Voter turnout was 38.8 per cent.
In Bicester West, Labour’s Les Sibley was re-elected with 1,286 votes, while Conservative James Porter got 994 votes. Turnout was 43.4 per cent.
And in The Astons and Heyfords ward, Conservative Mike Kerford-Byrnes was elected with 1,103 votes, against Green Party candidate Mary Franklin’s 348 votes, and Liberal Democrat Liz Yardley’s 322 votes. Turnout was 46.7 per cent.
A full results listing can be found on Cherwell District Council’s website at www.cherwell-dc.gov.uk, as well as an archive of previous years’ results.
Membership of committees will be announced at the annual council meeting due to be held on Wednesday, May 18.