Walker praises Conservative team in Worcester and welcomes new Police and Crime Commissioner

Worcester’s MP has acknowledged a tough set of local election results for the Conservative team in the city but backed his chairman in saying that local Conservative Councillors and candidates will be back in each ward across the city. He has also welcomed a clear and compelling victory for the Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner candidate, John Paul Campion who won a strong mandate across the West Mercia region and 83,619 votes, compared to his nearest rival on 55,162.

Across the city 6,578 people voted Conservative in Thursday’s local elections, electing new Conservative Councillors in Bedwardine and Claines, re-electing the incumbent in St Clement’s ward. Although the Conservative vote increased in both Battenhall and St Stephen, the Greens were able to achieve a higher vote and Robin has congratulated them on their best performance to date in the city, winning 2 seats for the first time.

The Conservative vote increased in 6 out of the 12 wards that were up for election and stood at just over 30% of the votes cast. Robin has written to all the candidates who contributed to this result and particularly thanked Dr David Tibbutt and Jenna Mitchell for their hard campaigning as well as congratulating all the newly elected councillors from all parties including James Stanley, the Chairman of the Worcester Conservative Association who won Claines with an increased majority.

The Conservatives remain the largest group on Worcester City Council and Robin has expressed the hope that they might be able to continue with their record of keeping down council tax and parking charges whilst investing in important developments such as the riverside, the city’s parks and the new eight lane swimming pool.

Labour regained the seat of Warndon with a reduced majority and saw their vote fall in 6 wards across the city, winning 35% of the overall vote compared to the 40% that they won in 2012. Nationally they lost seats in councils rather than gaining them, almost uniquely for an opposition in the first year of a second term Government. Along with coming third in Scotland the poor performance of Labour councillors across the country has led to further speculation about their leadership.

In good news for local democracy the turnout in almost every ward in the city was higher compared to the comparable elections four years ago only falling by 0.8% in Claines, which was previously the area with the highest turnout in the city. In Battenhall turnout was up over 20% to 54.6% and in St Stephen it was also over 40%. The racist BNP who struggled to achieve 1% of the vote in 2012 saw a massive decline in their support to gain just 25 votes in the two seats that they contested after rebranding as the British Resistance. In one seat their candidate attracted fewer votes than nominations.

Commenting on the results Robin said

“I am not going to pretend that every contest went our way or that these are the results we would have wanted but I am proud of all my councillors and candidates for the hard work that they have put in and I am proud of both Simon Geraghty and Marc Bayliss for the leadership they have shown on Worcester City Council. Compared to four years ago when Labour took control with the help of Greens and Liberal Democrats, we are in a stronger position. Conservative remain the largest group on Worcester City Council and I am hopeful we can continue to work together to take the city forward.

I am delighted that John Paul Campion has won a decisive victory in the Police and Crime Commissioner Election and, following his promise to protect city centre policing, I think this is clearly good news for Worcester. I am looking forward to working with him to support our excellent local police.

“It is good to see turnout increasing in local elections and I am proud of what Conservatives have achieved in Worcester, getting more houses built whilst protecting our green spaces, keeping down council tax and parking charges. I will work with whoever is elected to run our council and if the Greens with their two seats decide to put in a Labour administration, I will do all I can to work with them in the interests of the city. I congratulate all those councillors of all parties who have contested these elections and those who were re-elected.”

Notes to editors

Full results of the 2016 City Council and Crime Commissioner Elections can be found here:

http://www.worcester.gov.uk/2016-elections