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Local Elections: Roundup

The winners and losers

Residents instead cast their votes towards the Liberal Democrats, who gained control in Teignbridge and North Devon, and Independent candidates, who became the largest parties in Torridge and East Devon.

Only South Hams and West Devon remain under Conservative control, but they suffered heavy losses in both regions and retain control by one seat in both.

The leaders of Teignbridge and West Devon councils both lost their seats in the elections.

Conservative councillors who held their seats blasted the national situation and Theresa May’s leadership of the country for their collapse in votes, with Mid Devon District Council’s leader Clive Eginton, who won his seat in Taw Vale saying: “Without any shadow of a doubt it was blatantly obvious to anybody who was knocking on doors, the first question you had was ‘what on earth is going on in the country.’

“The Brexit situation was prevalent throughout every discussion; it was only when you got into discussing the local situation and Mid Devon District Council, did you have a chance of getting people to turn out to vote.

“I would say to the Government and the Party in Westminster ‘what you have done, is destroy a number of hard-working councils across the entire country. Theresa May I do not believe is fit to govern, and in my opinion, she should be gone by the end of May.”

The Conservatives have lost more than 1,300 councillors nationally, with Labour losing almost 80 seats in the English local elections, in which it had been expected to make gains. The Lib Dems gained more than 670 seats and the Greens more than 180.

Teignbridge was held by the Conservatives, but the council flipped to the Liberal Democrats who gained control. Outgoing leader of Teignbridge Jeremy Christophers lost his seat, as did several members of the executive, while pressure group Newton Says No picked up three seats.

Liberal Democrat Group Leader Cllr Gordon Hook said: “I am absolutely awesomely enthusiastic and delighted and grateful for the people for giving us this opportunity to help people in a very real way in some the real problems that exists, including the lack of the genuinely affordable low cost housing for people to rent or to buy. We want to get people on the housing ladder, that is a huge ambitious of ours and we want to improve the environment and do our bit for climate change and to look very carefully at the existing Local Plan to mitigate the huge negative impacts that are accrued for the plan – all of which are high priorities for the first week.

“We identified with the genuine problems that the residents felt, particularly in Newton Abbot with the lack of infrastructure that is coming with all the building. The lack of houses that people want in the places they want them, and that is something we have to look at carefully. The environment has been neglected as there is so much rubbish and graffiti, and we are looking forward to doing our bit to tackle climate change.”

Mid Devon and Torbay saw the Conservatives remain as the largest party, but they lost overall control of the council.

In Torridge, the Independents fell just one seat short of taking control of the council from the Conservatives, but are the largest party.

North Devon had been run by the Conservatives, in coalition with the South Molton Independents, but the Liberal Democrats gained temporary control of the council. They won 21 of the 41 contested seats – the 42nd was countermanded following the death of a candidate – so hold control of the council until the by-election takes place in June.

The Liberal Democrats must win that seat to retain overall control, but would remain the largest party in North Devon regardless.

The Conservatives did manage to hang on to control of both South Hams and West Devon councils – but only by one seat – and in West Devon, the leader of the council Philip Sanders lost his seat.

Overnight saw Labour retain control of both Plymouth City and Exeter City councils – in both instances gaining one seat, although Exeter’s Labour party did suffer city centre losses in St David’s and Newton and St Leonard’s to the Green party and Independent Jemima Moore respectively.



Labour 29

Conservative 6

Liberal Democrats 2

Green 1

Independent 1



Independent 20

Conservatives 19

East Devon Alliance 11

Liberal Democrats 8

Green 2



Conservatives 18

Liberal Democrats 12

Independents 10

Green 2



Liberal Democrats 21

Conservative 11

Independent 7

Green 2

Vacant 1



Labour 31

Conservative 25

Independent 1



Conservatives 16

Liberal Democrats 10

Green 3

Independents 2




Liberal Democrats 26

Conservatives 12

Independents 9



Conservatives 15

Liberal Democrats 13

Independents 8



Independents 18

Conservatives 11

Labour 3

Liberal Democrats 2

Green 2



Conservative 16

Independent 11

Lib Dem 2

Green 2


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