Greens, Lib Dems and Conservatives gain councillors on Wirral Council as Labour and Independents lose seats – No Overall Control (no party has a majority)
Yesterday the people of Wirral (including myself) voted. I myself voted in Bidston and St James ward. Other people voted in the other twenty-one wards across Wirral.
The result of this election is that Labour has lost its majority on Wirral Council.
Most of this is because of what happened in the constituency of Birkenhead (this is the first election in my living memory that the Member of Parliament hasn’t been in the Labour Party).
In Oxton, the outgoing councillor Paul Doughty had been elected as a Labour councillor, but disciplined and auto-excluded from the Labour Party for campaigning with former Labour councillors who are now Independent councillors. This seat was won by the Liberal Democrats, which was a gain and means they now have six councillors (as the Eastham seat was also won).
In Birkenhead and Tranmere, the outgoing Labour Leader of Wirral Council Cllr Phil Davies decided not to stand. Won by a majority of only 71 votes last year by the sole Green councillor Cllr Pat Cleary, the Green Party increased its majority in this area to 1,140 and elected a further Green Party councillor called Steve Hayes.
In Prenton, one of the councillors in the ruling Labour Cabinet Angie Davies stood for reelection. Greenspace campaigners were annoyed with her support for the Cabinet’s decision on the Local Plan last year and the impact this would have on the greenbelt. Having been won by Labour councillor Samantha Frost last year with a majority of 592, this area was won by the Green Party’s Chris Cooke with a majority of 1,448.
Labour did however gain the seat of Rock Ferry from the Independent Councillor Chris Meaden (who had been deselected by the Labour Party in favour of Yvonne Nolan). However Labour only won this seat by a majority of 185 votes.
Moving to Wirral West, the ultra-marginal seat of Pensby and Thingwall which had been won last year by Cllr Kate Cannon for the Labour Party with a majority of 23 switched to elect a Conservative councillor this year called Michael Collins.
From memory elections in the other wards on Wirral did not change hands. So what is the result? There are 66 seats on Wirral Council and any political party or group needs 34 for a majority.
Labour 32 (down 2 seats)
Conservative 22 (up 1 seat)
Liberal Democrat 6 (up 1 seat)
Green 3 (up 2 seats)
Independent (who are a political group) 3 (down 2 seats)
So what will happen next?
On 13th May there will be a public meeting of all 66 councillors in the Civic Hall at Wallasey Town Hall to decide on the Mayor and Deputy Mayor. Labour Councillor Tony Smith (currently Deputy Mayor) is nominated to be Mayor. Labour Councillor George Davies is nominated to be Deputy Mayor. That meeting is then usually adjourned to the 14th May.
At the public meeting on the 14th May there will be a decision on the Leader of Wirral Council and Cabinet.
There are a number of possible outcomes that could happen. Discussions will be happening between the five political groups on Wirral Council.
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